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Thread: New pool owner - SWG

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    New pool owner - SWG

    We are the new owners of a Vinyl, 18x38', 3' to 8' rectangular in ground pool. The pool fill was from a city water truck (the pool company provided), but unfortunately from the time the water was filled to the time they got the pump running (they had a leak that involved concrete removal and an electrical issue), and the drainage/retaining wall finished, we had a couple of severe thunderstorms that washed considerable mud into the pool. They drained the pool down to about 3' in the deep end and got as much mud out as they could, then replenished with a city water truck again. Of course, now we had a pool that was still muddy and green with algae. We haven't taken official delivery of the pool yet, so I've had my hands tied somewhat in that I have to allow the pool company to do their thing on clearing up the water. It's been three days now with the pump running and SWG the pool is getting clear enough that I can see mud still on the walls in the deep end. They've shocked the pool twice (before I came here and learned about the SLAM method), and today they're going to start vacuuming. We also have a robot with self contained filter that after the vacuum they are going to let loose. And they've dropped about 6 bromine tabs in the skimmer.

    Fortunately, we live 30 minutes from TFTestKits, and I've already been in contact with them and will be driving up tomorrow to purchase a TF-100, so I can start doing my own testing and analysis and not rely on what the pool company is doing. I wouldn't be sweating it too much, but the pool is already 3 weeks late, and we have a big July 4th barbecue-pool party planned so I'm starting to get nervous. The pool company guy who is really a hard worker but not sure of his knowledge of chems says he expects the pool to be crystal clear by Monday.

    I know until I get the kit tomorrow I'm flying blind, but is there anything I should be doing or getting prepared to do to make sure that by next Saturday I have a pool that is swimmable? Thanks in advance for your help! I've been reading all the Pool School articles and am getting a bit confused as to what applies to SWG specifically as some of the school of thought seems to be geared toward chlorine chem pools only. I've read that chlorine is chlorine and I can use liquid bleach and the return if needed and the SWG won't care, but of course until I get the #'s tomorrow, I won't know what to do.

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    Sandra B's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Welcome Robert!

    While you're waiting, get your brush and brush all the sides and bottom. Then do it another couple times while you're waiting. This will get the dirt and algae moving in the water where the chlorine and filter can get to it. What kind of filter do you have?

    I have no idea why you would have bromine tabs in your skimmer! You use either chlorine or bromine, but not both. Ask why they are there, since you have a SWG, and if you don't get a good answer (I can't think of one) then take them out. Are you sure they aren't chlorine tabs? I can see them doing that, to help add chlorine to get the pool clear, but bromine makes no sense. If it's chlorine tabs, since you have a new water fill and likely no CYA, then they are probably ok but you won't need anymore.

    I have a SWG and there is no problem using liquid bleach as a substitute or in addition to. As you said, chlorine is chlorine, and all it is is two different ways to get it in your pool.

    To do between brushings: get to know and love Poolmath, and get ready for your SLAM, since it sounds like you'll need one. Find your SLAM level of chlorine from the CYA/chlorine chart. For SLAM purposes, target about 30-40 CYA. This will take less bleach and you can adjust it higher for your SWG later. So use the "non-SWG" chart for now. You will turn off the SWG for the slam, since liquid chlorine will supply all your needs. Once you know your SLAM level, go to Poolmath, change the gallons at the top, and figure how much CL you'll need to reach SLAM. Put 0 (zero) in the NOW, and your slam level in the GOAL boxes. Get about 3 times that much chlorine on hand, to get you through (hopefully) the first couple days of SLAM. Walmart house brand is good--make sure you buy 8% or higher bleach to make it easier. So if it says add 200 oz, then have at least 600 oz on hand. You get the drift. If you know the builder hasn't added CYA, calculate how much CYA you need to go from zero to 70 (SWG) and buy that too. Walmart/Lowes/etc. sell this as Conditioner, the label will show it's all CYA. Don't put any in--wait for your test kit to measure. When you add, only add to about 30-40 for the SLAM (in a sock, in front of a return). After the slam, you can add the rest.

    Me, knowing my pool and the propensity of the SWG to raise pH, I'd go ahead and pick up a gallon of Muriatic Acid at Lowes also, in the pool area (the 31% kind). You'll need it eventually, and you may need it before the slam can start if you need to lower your pH. It won't go to waste with a SWG.

    So, to summarize: get some bleach on hand, get your CYA, and get some MA. Find a sock for the CYA . Once you get your test kit, post up a full test. You should have everything you need to start your SLAM immediately.

    Welcome!
    18,000 gallon freeform inground plaster
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump & .75 hp booster pump
    Aquapure SWG
    Pentair Triton II sand filter
    Legend pressure-side vacuum

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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Sandra, thanks for the welcome! FYI, I visit Shreveport often for work and love the river area.

    I have a Sand Filter....sorry I forgot to put that in the first post. I also have a variable speed pump if that matters. I'm still getting used to what I have and the terminology, so apologies.

    I double checked and you are right...chlorine tabs. I have a Bromine Hottub, and the tablets looked similar and I thought the pool guy said bromine, but I must have misunderstood.

    So, after posting, when I went back out to speak to the pool guy, and while I was gone, he had started some brushing and created a muddy mess. He also added flaculent(sp?). He turned the pump off for the night too I guess to let everything settle. They also added about four bags of salt directly to the pool which I thought was odd. His plan tomorrow is to continue to brush and vacuum to waste to get as much of the dirt out as the water had cleared enough to where I can see mud on the walls in the deep end, and on the floor of the shallow end. Still has a cloudy greenish tint, tho. While he's vacuuming in the morning, I'm going to go get my TF-100, do my first test, and start preparing for a SLAM. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can get all this accomplished by the 4th! One question...with the water so cloudy with particulate (mud) will that adversely effect the CYA or any other test?

    I'll pick up the bleach and muratic acid...With the hottub I already have a supply of PH up and PH down. Is there a conversion for using PH down instead of liquid muratic? I'll have to do some research on that one.

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    Sandra B's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    You should see the mighty Red River in Shreveport right now! We're having floods, which seems to have driven frogs into my pool . Luckily, they're finding my Frog Logs and escaping unharmed (and more importantly, not in my baskets. Yuck.)

    I guess your Pool Man is the one who installed the pool? If so, you probably have to let him try to fix it (unfortunately) if there is a warranty involved. We don't normally recommend flocculant, because it may do what you want, and it may not. It's used to "settle" and attach to dirt and such so that it drops to the bottom and can be sucked out. But it makes sense I guess to try to settle that mud out, if he vacuums it all back out to waste. You shouldn't need it again, once you take control.

    I have a sand filter and love it...it's very low maintenance. But it is also slower to clear a dirty pool than other more high maintenance filters. After your pool is clear I think you'll like it. There is a little trick to helping a sand filter work better with a dirty pool--you add some diatomaceous earth (DE) that is meant for pools. You essentially introduce a layer of DE on top of your existing sand (via the skimmer) and the smaller DE particles pick up a lot more debris from the water. Search this forum for "adding DE to sand filter" or something like that and you'll see a lot of threads. You may want to keep that in your arsenal if you seem to stall in getting the water fully cleared. Glad to know the tabs are chlorine; that makes more sense. You won't need them again, but good to know it's not bromine.

    The variable speed pump lets you save energy by running on low instead of high. I calculate your pool to be about 28,000 gallons (18x38x5.5 average depth). Look at your pump book, or online, and you'll see how many gallons per hour/minute your pump runs through, at both speeds. Then divide your pool volume by the GPH or GPM*60 and you can determine how long it takes to run your entire pool volume through the pump/filter. For example, if your pump runs 100 GPM, so that's 6,000 GPH, it takes 28,000 / 6,000 = 4.66 hours to filter your pool ONE time. Most folks recommend you run your pump enough to turnover twice per day. If you have a lot of blow-in, etc., you can do more.

    For the SWG, you add your salt directly to the pool, and brush it all around with your pool brush until it dissolves. He did it right. Your SWG will have instructions for how much salt (PPM) you'll need to keep in the pool so it runs most efficiently. Adding 4 bags (I assume the 50 lb bags) to your volume of water adds about 850 PPM salt (per Poolmath, at the bottom). My SWG needs around 3,000 ppm to keep it happy. You can find that in the SWG manual, and it will give you instructions on how long to keep the SWG off after adding the salt. Mine says 24 hours, but honestly since I'm only adding one bag here or there, I only wait a few hours. With a new salt fill, you may need to wait the longer time. But initially since you're not going to use the SWG to slam, you'll have it off anyway.

    The cloudy water does not impact your testing, unless it's so darn dirty you can't see through it. Run the pump for a 1/2 hour or an hour, then turn it off and let the muck settle, then take your water sample from about a foot or 18 inches below the surface. It should look relatively clear in your tubes. Just don't take in the mucky dirty water while it's all stirred up.

    In pool math, in the pH section, you see on the right side the various amounts to add to lower pH. You see MA and you also see "dry acid". That's what your pH Down is. Just use that one. MA is so much cheaper, and is the same thing just in a different form, like your chlorine pucks vs. liquid bleach. You can use up the pH Down/Up, then switch to MA (ph Down) and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (ph UP). With a SWG, you won't need a lot of pH Up. SWG's tend to push pH up continually. I've never had to increase pH in my pool; it does it all on it's own. The struggle is keeping it DOWN.

    Hope I'm not overwhelming you with details, and tell me if I am. You seem to have an early handle on pool chemistry, plus a test kit! You're way ahead of the pack!
    18,000 gallon freeform inground plaster
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump & .75 hp booster pump
    Aquapure SWG
    Pentair Triton II sand filter
    Legend pressure-side vacuum

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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Thanks again for the reply...

    So, I just got back with the test kit and here are the numbers:

    1.0 FC
    1.0 CC
    2.0 TC
    225 CH
    80 TA
    0 CYA
    7.6 PH

    So punching these numbers into the pool calculator I get

    989 oz of 8% bleach (or 13xx of 6%) for a goal of 24 FC
    263 oz of Stabilizer for a goal of 70 CYA (for SWG)

    So, the plan is to add both of those this afternoon after I do a thorough vacuum...

    I assume for the next few days leave the SWG off?

    And the pump cycling how often?

    Off to buy some chems.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    wait on the CYA!!

    if you are going to slam, only raise the CYA to 30 for now. It will take much less chlorine!!

    After you are done slamming and the pool is crystal clear, then bump it up to where you want it at that time.
    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.
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    Sandra B's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Good job on the testing. First thing, bring your pH down to about 7.2 with MA (or pH down if you want to use it up.) Once you start to slam, you can't check pH while your CL is above 10, so get it lowered then don't check again until the slam is over.

    As Dave said, bring your CYA only to 30 during slam; you'll use less bleach. At CYA 30, your SLAM CL level is only 12 (not 24). Assume CYA 30 for the Slam, even though it might not all be dissolved yet. Don't test CYA for a week; it won't show up for that long. Assume it's what you added. At 30 CYA and a 28,000 gallon pool (can you confirm this? Better yet, add everything to your signature under your Profile), you'll use almost 4 jugs of bleach to get to 12. Per poolmath, I get 482oz from zero to 12, so you can check your numbers.

    CH doesn't really matter much in a vinyl pool, so no need to test it very often, maybe once a month.

    Great job! Take a before picture of the pool so you can see the difference every day.
    18,000 gallon freeform inground plaster
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump & .75 hp booster pump
    Aquapure SWG
    Pentair Triton II sand filter
    Legend pressure-side vacuum

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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Thanks guys....still learning so appreciate the patience.
    I thought I had added the info to my signature, but realized it was greater than 5 lines so it didn't take. Hopefully it is in now.
    Yes, I calculated 28,100 gallons for the size pool I have.

    Ok, so going to add some PH Down (41oz). And use 12 FC and 30 CYA for my goals. Based on that and my current numbers I get:

    473 oz of Bleach, and 113 oz of Stabilizer. I bought Walmart 8% bleach (funny, the more expensive 'cleaning' bleach is only 6%), and Clorox stabilizer which is 100% CYA.

    I'll post a picture soon...It's raining right now

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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Hmm.....signature is saved (shows in preview) and the check-box is selected for show your signature...but still no signature?

    Oops...there it is
    18' x 38' Pool, 3' to 8' Depth
    Vinyl Liner
    SWG
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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Good job on Poolmath, I get close to the same. One thing to do, Robert, if it's not too late. Don't add the full amount of ph Down at one time. Add about 2/3 of it, then let your pool circulate for about 1/2 hour, test ph again, then add the rest if necessary. Pools are notorious for not being exactly how many gallons you think they are, depending on how much they are filled, the slope, etc. So it's best to undershoot the chemicals when you first start and you can see what they do. If 2/3 of the ph Down is supposed to take you to x.x ph, and it does, then you know you have the gallons right and you can add the rest, then next time just add the full amount. With a new pool, folks tend to chase a level up and down if you start out full strength, so this just helps you creep up (or down) on the levels without overshooting.

    Once the ph is good, you're good to go! You can start the slam in the rain if you don't mind getting wet. Rain water won't impact you much at all.

    Good luck!
    18,000 gallon freeform inground plaster
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump & .75 hp booster pump
    Aquapure SWG
    Pentair Triton II sand filter
    Legend pressure-side vacuum

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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Great minds think alike...well at least mine gets lucky. I did only add 2/3 of the PH down, but only because the chart on the back of the bottle disagreed with the pool calc, so to be safe, I figured I start out light. Problem, however, I went back to check the PH, and it was off the scale above 8! So, I went and rechecked CYA, still 0. Rechecked FC and now it's at 13! What's going on I'm thinking to myself...am I crazy. Then I find out that while at lunch with the wife, the pool crew who was here finishing up the stone work decided to throw another bottle of shock into the pool. So, I'm assuming that stuff has my readings crazy. I went ahead did some vacuuming, and hung the socks of CYA. I'm going to wait four hours or so and retest PH and FC to let the shock circulate before I add the bleach. And I need to put about 2 inches of water back in from the vacuuming.

    Quick question...how long does the CYA take to dissolve out of the sock? I just used some nylon pantyhose...I've got two big tear drops (took two hose) hanging in front of the return. I see a little whisper of white, but I'm assuming at that rate it's going to take days to disperse.
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    18' x 38' Pool, 3' to 8' Depth
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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    You can squeeze the socks as much and often as you want to help it along. When I was adding mine I just walked around my pool with the sock until it was all gone! Hey TFP said to add xx amount of CYA so I did it as fast as I could LOL

    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 - SWG

    What Kim said. My CYA in a hose usually dissolves within a few days. Those pool folks were just helping you get your slam started! I have no idea what they may have added to raise your ph so much, so waiting and testing again, and dosing your ph, is a good idea.

    The pool photo is perfect....take one from that same place every day and watch your steps reappear! If you have a lot of dirt debris in there (mud) you may want to seriously read about adding DE to your filter, once you've slammed for a few days. That stuff is all going to have to get caught by the filter to get out of the water. Have you read up on backwashing, and when/how to do it?
    18,000 gallon freeform inground plaster
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump & .75 hp booster pump
    Aquapure SWG
    Pentair Triton II sand filter
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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Yes, in fact I backwashed before I added the CYA as I've read that once I start that, I shouldn't backwash.

    In regards to the mud/dirt, my plan is to shut off the pump (did just now) and let the mud settle over night as much as possible and then vacuum again to waste in the morning. The pool guys threw the Dolphin in, but while that did suck up some mud, it mostly just stirred the mud up. So, again, I'm going to try the let the water settle tonight (of course the thunderstorm we're having now isn't helping), do a careful vacuum to waste in the morning (hoping I can see bottom at least in the shallow), add water, repeat and rinse...Once I get a good couple of vacuums, I'll maybe add DE to the filter and let it go for a day or two. The wife is near tears thinking the July 4th party will be a bust, but I'm going to try until that day to get it clear...wish me luck!
    18' x 38' Pool, 3' to 8' Depth
    Vinyl Liner
    SWG
    Variable Speed Pump
    Sand Filter

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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Robert
    If you will stay on top of testing and keep teh FC at least at slam level, then thats the key to making it go as quickly as possible. The more often the FC gets below slam and time elapsed before you get it back up, means the algae will be reproducing until you get it back up. It wouldnt hurt to shoot for a ppm or 2 above slam, to give FC some headroom to fall while killing algae and not get below 12.

    You're doing great and SandraB has given awesome advice. Hang in there, and you will be having a pool party on the 4th.

    As a FYI, algae loves to hide behind light fixtures.
    So, it might not be a bad idea to release the fixture from teh niche during the slam. There is 1 screw at the top of the retainer ring for the light. Take out that screw (when you can see it) and wiggle the thing and the whole fixture will come out. Just let the fixture float, or set it on the deck.
    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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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Thanks Dave for info on lights....I have two led fixtures...not sure how to take them out but once the water clears enough I should be able to figure it out.

    One quick question. To get rid of the mud most threads suggest shutting off pump overnight to let settle then vacuum to waste. But then I read for slam pump should run 24/7. What are the effects of not running the pump to let the sediment settle so I can vacuum? Is it messing up the slam process too much?

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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    One more newbie question...my sand filter has a multiport valve....tonight after backwashing when I returned to filter I noticed the returns blew mud for the first few seconds. I started researching and found where I should go to recirculate after backwash then to filter. Is that why I saw mud because I didn't circulate first? If so could you explain where the mud came from just so I understand better. Thanks

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Dont shut off the pump until you have zero CC and pass the overnight chlorine loss test. Keep it going, and keep the FC at slam.
    Once you pass the OCLT, then you can shut down and let things settle if need be.

    If you are going to vaccum crud off the bottom, you should do that before starting the slam.

    Quote Originally Posted by robertmee View Post
    Thanks Dave for info on lights....I have two led fixtures...not sure how to take them out but once the water clears enough I should be able to figure it out.

    One quick question. To get rid of the mud most threads suggest shutting off pump overnight to let settle then vacuum to waste. But then I read for slam pump should run 24/7. What are the effects of not running the pump to let the sediment settle so I can vacuum? Is it messing up the slam process too much?
    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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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    When you backwash, you are basically running water backwards though the filter. This churns up the gunk and helps get it out of there.
    After backwash, then you should run on rinse.

    Never heard of one having to go on recirculate after backwashing.

    As a FYI, with a really dirty and algaed up pool, you can save a bit of headache for the first couple or 3 days by setting the filter on recirculate. None of the live algae will get filtered out and clog the filter so fast, but you can still keep up the FC and circulate water. Then after you have killed off a lot of the algae and start getting some clarity, then set the valve to filter.

    Here is an excellent thread that will give you some insight to how a sand filter works.
    Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter



    Quote Originally Posted by robertmee View Post
    One more newbie question...my sand filter has a multiport valve....tonight after backwashing when I returned to filter I noticed the returns blew mud for the first few seconds. I started researching and found where I should go to recirculate after backwash then to filter. Is that why I saw mud because I didn't circulate first? If so could you explain where the mud came from just so I understand better. Thanks
    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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    Re: New pool owner - SWG

    Gotcha....so I guess I'm pausing as stopping the pump overnight really helped the clay mud settle....vacuuming to waste slow and methodical I can now see the bottom of the shallow end...yay! So I have to stop and refill since I'm going very slow as to not stir the mud...I'm thinking two more refills I'll have a great deal of mud out and can go back to pump and filter. I did check my fc and cc this morning...I'm sure they're high because of lack of circulation but they are at 21 and 1.5....so I have chlorine in the pool whereas I had none before. I hope as the day goes the water clears even more so I can see the deep end better to vacuum..right now I'll be doing it blindly.

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