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Thread: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

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    Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    Hi all,

    I've been lurking for a month or so and need some help getting on top of the pool. A little background on the history of my pool. I just purchased the home in April 2015 and I believe the pool was built sometime around 2002 (based upon the date stamps on the lights). The home was a foreclosure and the house sat vacant for around a year and a half. When we moved in we had the pool drained and acid washed (everything was black) and are now in the middle of going through/replacing some equipment. Pumps operate OK, filter got a thumbs up from the pool service company but the heaters are dead and the plumbing is a mess (I'm chasing a suction side air leak that is causing some frustration). Also I've replaced the SWG cell and purchased a Dolphin M500 Supreme and a TF-100 test kit.

    If I were to give my current situation a headline it would be "I'm having a hard time keeping chlorine in the pool." The new Intellichlor IC 40 SWG is running at 100% for about 10-12 hours per day and the chlorine levels always seem to be low (1ppm or less). I'm pretty sure the SWG is operating correctly because the water coming out of the jets shows higher Cl readings than the skimmer side of the pool. I just can't seem to keep the Cl in the water.

    I know I have some CYA level issues I need to fix (I added one bottle of HTH stabilizer) and am considering SLAMing the pool (to kill what's be eating the Cl), but I want to be thoughtful about where and what I start with. SLAMing will kill anything I may have growing in the pool, but may not be the root cause of why I can't hold the Cl.

    Here are my current test results as of 10:30am on 6/28/15:

    FC - 0.5
    CC - 0.5
    pH - 7.8
    TA - 132
    CH - 225
    CYA - 30

    These were done with the TF-100 and are my first tests with the new kit.

    My interpretation of the results for my Salt Water Plaster pool:

    1. FC is low and needs to be raised
    2. pH is acceptable
    3. TA is high and needs to be lowered
    4. CH is low and needs to be raised
    5. CYA is low and needs to raised

    My question after this long winded first post is "Where should I start first?" I'm inclined to add bleach to quickly raise the FC levels and add more HTH Stabilizer to get the CYA to a point where the pool can hold on to it and the SWG can maintain it at a reduced run time.

    Thoughts? Recommendations?
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    Hey Jeff! Welcome! Okay, let's cut to the chase:
    1 - Yes, your FC is low, but first you need to SLAM if you have cloudy water or algae; so lower the PH to about 7.2 with a little muriatic acid to prepare for the SLAM.
    2 - A CYA of 30 is perfect to start a SLAM, so don't change it right now
    3 - Stock-up on bleach and start SLAMming; your FC SLAM level is 12 based on that CYA of 30.

    Here's the key: "Maintain” that FC level until 3 objectives are met:
    1. Water is clear
    2. You do not lose any more than 1ppm of FC overnight (that's the OCLT)
    3. CC (Combined Chlorine) is <.5

    Until you reach these 3 objective, do not put anything else in your water other than liquid bleach. You can reduce your SWG output to take some stress off of it since the bleach will do the work for you. After the SLAM, you can start to increase it back to maintain the proper FC. If later (after the SLAM) your SWG cannot maintain the proper FC on its own, we'll address troubleshooting separately.

    For now, lets get that water clear with a SLAM. Very happy to se you have the TF-100!
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    Thanks TS.

    I'm still questionable about the SLAM just yet. I don't have cloudy water. Meant to include a picture of the pool on my first post. This was taken this morning.



    Clarity is good, can see the bottom of the deep end and I think the slight green tint is due to the blue/green stone flakes in the plaster. Do you still think a SLAM is the next step, or do you think I might be in the position of being able to just get the FC up and raise the CYA too.

    Thanks again for the reply.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    Also, your heater elements may have algae-filled water in the loop. Normally we say leave it open to the water flow and SLAM to kill the algae inside. But if that portion of your plumbing is compromised and you have it shut-off (closed), just understand it could be a source of algae as well. That's a decision only you can make at this point.

    - - - Updated - - -

    My goodness that's a fine set-up you have there! Okay, if you're not sure about dong a SLAM, here's two factors to consider/test:
    - Watch your CC level. You are right on the edge. If it exceeds .5 ppm, there could be a problem
    - You can do an overnight FC loss test (OCLT). Once the sun goes down, bump-up your FC to a reasonable level like normal and record it. In the morning before the sun hits your pool, test the FC again and see if you lost more than 1 ppm overnight. If you did, it's probably time to SLAM.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    Ok thanks. I think I'll buy a bunch of bleach today and bump up the FC into the SWG range after sunset. The SWG is running right now and the water coming out of the jets is about 1ppm higher than the skimmer side of the pool, so I think it's working properly. That should be good enough to get thru the rest of the day and then I'll do an OCLT.

    If I pass, then I'll focus on adjusting the cya and FC. If I don't then I'll slam. Sound reasonable?


    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    Okay, if you have any more questions just let us know. We'll look for some new numbers tomorrow and go from there. Enjoy your evening.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    Well, I cleaned out the light fixtures today and removed a ton of gunk! Decided right then and there to run the dolphin and SLAM the pool. Lowered the pH to between 7.2-7.5 and raised the FC to 12+.

    Let the SLAM begin.
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    Getting ready to shut down for the night and thought I'd post my readings for comparison in the morning.

    As of 1130pm CDT:

    FC - 14
    CC - 1

    SWG is off and I'm going to leave the pump on over night. Fingers crossed.

    OBTW - I love the TF-100. It makes me feel like I'm in control and that I have a better understanding of what's going on in the water. Now if only I'd bought the magnetic stirrer!
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    Right on! TF100 and TFPC is great. Nice pool!

    Just fyi, OCLT should be done with FC 10ish or higher.
    TFP Moderator
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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: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    6/29 0730 update

    FC - 10 (4ppm drop overnight)
    CC - 1 (no change)

    Wondering if being new to testing I messed up either this mornings or last nights FC test. I also don't know what to fully expect with the results as the Cl goes to work. If FC is being used up, should CC increase. i.e. if FC goes from 14 to 10, should I expect to see CC go from 1 to 5?

    Either way, I dumped another 121 oz of 8.25% bleach into the pool and went to work. That should take me from 10 back up to somewhere around 13 again.

    Thoughts?
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    Update as of 2020 CDT on 6/29

    Haven't touched the pool since before work this morning.

    Pool water is clear, but still has a blue green tint to water. I'm starting to think that's going to be the norm based upon the plaster stone flakes. If I ever replaster it will be with something blue!

    FC - 7 (approx 6ppm loss during the day, hoping it's from sunlight, but that seems like a lot)
    CC - 1/2 ppm

    I added 242 oz of 8.25% bleach which should take me up to 13.6 ppm or so and will do one last reading before bed in preparation for the OCLT.
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    CC will not necessarily go up as FC gets used because it is getting burned off too. You did the right thing, keep SLAMing until it passes the tests. If there is a test error you'll pass next time.
    TFP Moderator
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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

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    OCLT starting point

    FC - 13
    CC - 1/2
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    I am in love with your pool and set up! Oh so nice! How can you go to work every day 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

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    OCLT finish pt
    FC - 10
    CC - 0

    Added more bleach and left for work. FC should jump to just over 13. Pool is clear and with CC so low; I'm surprised by the amount of FC loss overnight. Thoughts?


    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    Thanks Kim. We got lucky finding this place. That's for certain.


    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    The over night loss of 3ppm means the chlorine is still oxidizing something. While we can't be 100% certain, there a good chance its material in the filter. I'd backwash the filter then follow that up with a deep cleaning.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-a-Sand-Filter

    PS - I practice what I preach, putting my filter back together this morning.
    16' x 34' vinyl in ground - 16,500 gal.
    Hayward EC-75 DE filter with Hayward 1hp Super Pump
    TF-100XL Test Kit with SpeedStir

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    I did a backwash last night prior to taking the OCLT start reading. Deep cleaning the filter makes sense. The pool sat closed for a couple seasons while the home was in foreclosure. Given how gross the water was when the cover was removed, anything is possible in the filter. That being said, I popped the top off the filter a week ago (after first reading about deep cleanse) and was pleased to see that there wasn't a bunch of junk sitting on top of the sand.

    Either way, it can't hurt to do one. My biggest challenge will be figuring out how to close the filter off from the pool while performing the cleanse.
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    It might be a good time to install close off valves if you do not already have them.

    You can block the returns and skimmer using a carrot or potato (really!)

    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Newb trying to get on top of the pool

    OCLT update.

    This morning we were at FC -12 / CC - 0. That's a 1.5 ppm drop over night. ALMOST THERE! I'm guessing I have one more day of the SLAM and we'll be done. Fingers crossed.
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    25K gal, IG plaster, 2 HP pump, sand filter, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, Dolphin M500 Supreme, TF-100 Test Kit

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