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Thread: New Home - New Pool/Spa - Tired of trips to the pool store! HELP PLEASE!

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    New Home - New Pool/Spa - Tired of trips to the pool store! HELP PLEASE!

    Hello & thank you for this great resource!!
    I'm in Virginia Beach and have recently purchased a new home that has a pool and hot tub. I can't seem to get a handle on balancing the pool. (Hot tub is another thread for when I get the pool set- for now that is drained completely).
    Today's numbers from pool store testing:
    FAC: 1
    TAC: 1
    Salt: 3400
    CH: 170
    CYA: 50
    TA: 120
    pH: 7.6
    phosphates: 50

    I can't seem to keep up the Chlorine level. We had a little bit of green algae 2 days ago so I had the system on super chlorinate for the day and even added 2 bags of shock the next day (yesterday). Also added 3 gallons of conditioner to bring up the CYA level last night. I left the pool store today with 3 different combinations of chemicals written down that I could try and I have no idea what to do. I've also spent over $500 in chemicals over the last 3 weeks!

    Side note: I have 6 & 7 yr old children, 2 puppies, and it's summer vacation, so my time for researching is very limited! Just want to be able to enjoy the pool this summer and right now my wallet hurts every time I look at it!!

    Is there something quick and easy I can do to get the pool set? Can bleach be added to salt pools? Will adding Borax into my equation help at all? Is there a good place to get chemicals besides the pool store (Leslie's)?
    THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!
    1) Approx 24,000 gallon IG vinyl salt pool. Hayward Goldline Aqua Rite Salt Chlorine Generator w/T-Cell 15 & D.E. Filter.
    2) Hot Springs 2007 Grandee Spa

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Home - New Pool/Spa - Tired of trips to the pool store! HELP PLEASE!

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Step 1 is cutting ties with the pool store, not trusting their testing, and investing in one of the Recommended Test Kits.

    There is nothing quick and easy. You have algae, you need to follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process which requires one of the good test kits.

    You can certainly add bleach to the water to boost the FC level. Forget about Borax/borates, they are optional and far from you needing to worry about at this point.

    You can get most chemicals are hardware stores or Walmart.

    Have you discovered Pool School yet? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Water Balance for SWGs
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    N Tonawanda, NY
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    Re: New Home - New Pool/Spa - Tired of trips to the pool store! HELP PLEASE!

    Here's the short version:
    Order the TF-100 test kit with the XL Option (free shipping when this is added to the order) this will give you enough chemicals for two seasons. If you can afford it also get the SpeedStir.

    Here's where to get the test kit:
    http://tftestkits.net/TF-100-Test-Kit-p4.html

    While you're waiting for the kit to arrive come back here whenever possible & read the links Jason posted.

    PS - You'll never spend $500 at the pool store again. If you bought anything at Leslie's today then let us know & we will tell you what to return.
    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

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    Re: New Home - New Pool/Spa - Tired of trips to the pool store! HELP PLEASE!

    Thank you both!!

    I'll order a test kit. I've read all of the links but am still finding myself overwhelmed since it's all new information.

    So, in the mean time, before the kit arrives, is there anything essential that needs to be added to the water? Is it fine for swimming? We have family arriving tomorrow and they are all counting on having a pool to enjoy. Should I wait on adding more conditioner to raise the CYA? I think I read somewhere that it takes a few days for the CYA to rise after adding?? Keep the pool on all day and on super chlorinate?

    Also, I have 2 bottles of PhosFree and 15lb of Hardness Plus that I just purchased from Leslie's- keep or return?
    1) Approx 24,000 gallon IG vinyl salt pool. Hayward Goldline Aqua Rite Salt Chlorine Generator w/T-Cell 15 & D.E. Filter.
    2) Hot Springs 2007 Grandee Spa

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Home - New Pool/Spa - Tired of trips to the pool store! HELP PLEASE!

    Return it. Phosphates are meaningless and the you do not need CH in a vinyl pool. That right there should be close to $100 and easily cover the cost of the test kit

    If you want to believe those numbers, you just need to get more chlorine in the water and I would use bleach.

    I would put 3 large bottles (either 121 oz 8.25% or 128 oz 10%) in as soon as you can and should be fine to swim tomorrow (assuming you can see the bottom of the pool). Monitor the FC and keep it above 5ppm until you have your good test kit.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: New Home - New Pool/Spa - Tired of trips to the pool store! HELP PLEASE!

    Do not add the PhosFree that will immediately plug up your DE filter. IIRC those two bottles should pay for the test kit. BTW what's the pressure on your filter?

    I'll let someone with more experience comment on the Conditioner & Hardness Plus. Most likely they'll have you wait for the test kit.

    If you have an OTO test kit you can try to get the chlorine up to 5 ppm by adding liquid chlorine/bleach. I'd try one gal. & see if it shows up on the OTO test. That should make the water safe to swim in if the water is clear enough to see the bottom. Let the filter run overnight.

    Edit - I see Jason beat me to it. At least we're in agreement!
    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

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    Jun 2015
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    Virginia Beach, VA
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    Re: New Home - New Pool/Spa - Tired of trips to the pool store! HELP PLEASE!

    Thanks again for the info!
    The pool is clear and we can absolutely see the bottom. The filter pressure was almost at 20 so my husband did a backwash and added more DE. He also added the hardness plus and 2lb of shock. We hadn't been able to touch base about the info from this thread yet, so hopefully the pool will still be fine in the morning.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, what is an OTO test kit? Thanks
    1) Approx 24,000 gallon IG vinyl salt pool. Hayward Goldline Aqua Rite Salt Chlorine Generator w/T-Cell 15 & D.E. Filter.
    2) Hot Springs 2007 Grandee Spa

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Home - New Pool/Spa - Tired of trips to the pool store! HELP PLEASE!

    It is this test. The yellow chlorine drop test.
    TFTestkits.net
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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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