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Thread: Pool newbie. A little help please.

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    jasnovanorder's Avatar
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    Pool newbie. A little help please.

    We just set got our pool up and running last week. Its an Intex metal frame vinyl that holds about 3000 gallons. Picked up some fairly cheap test strips just to see whats going on. According to the strips the readings are

    Total Hardness: 200
    Free chlorine: 0
    pH 8.4
    Alkalinity: 240
    CYA:0

    The water temp is about 68F and is a little cloudy but not too bad. Just from reading on here and other places the numbers are way off. Whats my first step to getting things back in order and what chemicals are needed to keep it that way. Thanks
    Intex AG metal frame vinyl sides 10,400 gal. 3000 gph intex pump with 16" sand filter
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Hi, welcome to TFP! First you will need to lower the pH to the 7.2-7.5 range. Next you will need CYA. Before we determine how much you will need, we need to know what product you used to chlorinate your pool. A good test kit such as a TF 50 will give more reliable results than a test strip, however since you have a small pool it would not be too difficult to change out the water if things get out of hand. We are here to help prevent things from getting out of hand in your new pool. You may need to complete the SLAM process since the pool is a little cloudy.


    You can use PoolMath poolmath to determine how much plain, unscented bleach to add to reach 10ppm for the slam.
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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    You will read that the first step is purchasing a reliable test kit - the only way to get repeatable, accurate and unbiased test results.

    Until then, assuming your strips are accurate, which I would only do since your water is new...
    - Buy some liquid chlorine (bleach), Muriatic acid and CYA a.k.a. stabilizer/conditioner from pool store or walmart, lowes, etc. Powder is fine for the stabilizer. Label should call it cyanuric acid
    - Add muriatic acid (MA) to get reduce ph to 7.5 (13 ozs for a 3000 gallon pool)
    - Add enough to get to 30 ppm (12 ozs for a 3000 gallon pool)
    - Maintain your FC above 2 at all time, target 4 ppm

    You can use PoolMath to confirm all my numbers. And feel free to ask questions. Congrats.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    jasnovanorder's Avatar
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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Thanks for the quick replies. I have found out its very easy to get in over your head. Get real confusing real quick. I will pick up the stuff needed to get back on the right track tonight. A better test kit might have to wait a week or two but at least this should get me going in the right direction
    Intex AG metal frame vinyl sides 10,400 gal. 3000 gph intex pump with 16" sand filter
    My Slam

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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Lots of folks hold off on the test kit and that is your preference. I think of it like driving in the dark, yes you and your car have all the ability to make it down the road, but without the headlights on you can't see which direction you're headed or if problems are coming. Ok, off my soap box.

    I hope your cloudy water might improve once you lower your ph. You're fortunate it is new water. There is not any CYA in water normally. Just add enough stabilizer for 30 ppm and the test strips might be enough to keep you safe for a while. The CYA is what drives most folks to issues and the forum. If you remember anything, liquid chlorine (bleach) is the only form of chlorine that doesn't something unwanted to the pool. Best of luck and enjoy the pool.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by jasnovanorder View Post
    Thanks for the quick replies. I have found out its very easy to get in over your head. Get real confusing real quick. I will pick up the stuff needed to get back on the right track tonight. A better test kit might have to wait a week or two but at least this should get me going in the right direction
    That is not advisable. Get a good test kit and do it right.
    SLAM * Chlorine/CYA Chart * Pool Math * Pool School
    17.5k gal IG Fiberglass, Triton II TR60 Sand Filter, Jacuzzi Magum Force Pump 1.5 hp, 3/4 hp booster, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit with Speed Stir

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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    OK just to double check I was playing around with the pool math page and just want to double check my numbers.

    To bring the FC up it says to add 3 cups bleach
    To bring pH down add 2 cups 4 oz muriatic acid
    To bring CYA up to add 1 quart of stabilizer
    And do nothing for the TA

    Does that sound right?
    Intex AG metal frame vinyl sides 10,400 gal. 3000 gph intex pump with 16" sand filter
    My Slam

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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by jasnovanorder View Post
    OK just to double check I was playing around with the pool math page and just want to double check my numbers.

    To bring the FC up it says to add 3 cups bleach
    To bring pH down add 2 cups 4 oz muriatic acid
    To bring CYA up to add 1 quart of stabilizer
    And do nothing for the TA

    Does that sound right?
    Sounds right, but you are missing one main hugely important first step: get a good test kit. Seriously. If you are using test strips, something will not be right.
    SLAM * Chlorine/CYA Chart * Pool Math * Pool School
    17.5k gal IG Fiberglass, Triton II TR60 Sand Filter, Jacuzzi Magum Force Pump 1.5 hp, 3/4 hp booster, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit with Speed Stir

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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Just verify that your volume is correct in PoolMath before you enter all your info and make sure your goal levels are Troublefreepool. Your first post says about 3000 gallons and your signature says 4000. If you have to guess, guess low so that your chemical additions are smaller so you won't overshoot your target(s). Then you can refine your volume based on the chlorine additions - yes it is that accurate with a test kit. Razorhog is giving good advice there.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Tool View Post
    Just verify that your volume is correct in PoolMath before you enter all your info and make sure your goal levels are Troublefreepool. Your first post says about 3000 gallons and your signature says 4000. If you have to guess, guess low so that your chemical additions are smaller so you won't overshoot your target(s). Then you can refine your volume based on the chlorine additions - yes it is that accurate with a test kit. Razorhog is giving good advice there.

    I guessed with the 3000 and entered in the dimensions at the bottom of the poolmath chart to get the 4000. I know having a good test kit is important but just wont have the coin till next week. At least with the strips i can get started in the right direction and fine tune it once i get a kit. Or thats the plan at least
    Intex AG metal frame vinyl sides 10,400 gal. 3000 gph intex pump with 16" sand filter
    My Slam

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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Don't feel bad, money is money. We just like to stress the importance that's all. Sorry if it was too much on my end. You also need all the information and here you are so you are way ahead of the game

    Round pool with consistent depth - then trust pool math. Pools that change depth or free form pools are little tougher. And again good luck, you'll be in good shape balancing the new water.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Tool View Post
    Don't feel bad, money is money. We just like to stress the importance that's all. Sorry if it was too much on my end. You also need all the information and here you are so you are way ahead of the game

    Round pool with consistent depth - then trust pool math. Pools that change depth or free form pools are little tougher. And again good luck, you'll be in good shape balancing the new water.

    No prob. Just trying to get this critter swim ready for the kids. Its next to impossible to tell a 7 and 9 year old they cant play in the new pool
    Intex AG metal frame vinyl sides 10,400 gal. 3000 gph intex pump with 16" sand filter
    My Slam

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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    So my next question is are the kids safe to be in it till i can get the levels adjusted? The are about to die the way they are acting.
    Intex AG metal frame vinyl sides 10,400 gal. 3000 gph intex pump with 16" sand filter
    My Slam

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    It is safe to swim when:
    PH is between 7.2 and 7.8
    Chlorine is above minimum for your CYA
    Chlorine is below shock for your CYA
    Water is clear

    Chlorine CYA Chart
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    jasnovanorder's Avatar
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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Ok so added the bleach muriatic acid and cya last night. Today my readings are
    TH 200
    FC 2
    pH 7.5
    TA 180
    CYA still 0

    i used the granulated stabilizer so I know it's going to take a few days to bring it up. Anything else I should be doing at the moment?
    Intex AG metal frame vinyl sides 10,400 gal. 3000 gph intex pump with 16" sand filter
    My Slam

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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Ok since adding everything the FC is up to 10 the highest the strips can read. The pH is still at 7.5 TA still 180 and the CYA is up to 30. The issue now is the water is getting cloudy. I'm going to be ordering the TF100 kit next Friday and will be able to SLAM once I can test the chlorine better. Anything else I should look in to?
    Intex AG metal frame vinyl sides 10,400 gal. 3000 gph intex pump with 16" sand filter
    My Slam

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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    How is the pool looking?

    With the FC over 10 ppm, you can skip testing the ph as it will not be accurate. Without knowing exactly what your FC is, I struggle to advise you to put anymore chlorine in. Assuming your strips are "accurate" up to 10 - if/when the FC falls below ten take a reading then use PoolMath to dose it back to 12-14 ppm FC.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    jasnovanorder's Avatar
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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Tool View Post
    How is the pool looking?

    With the FC over 10 ppm, you can skip testing the ph as it will not be accurate. Without knowing exactly what your FC is, I struggle to advise you to put anymore chlorine in. Assuming your strips are "accurate" up to 10 - if/when the FC falls below ten take a reading then use PoolMath to dose it back to 12-14 ppm FC.

    Thats what ive been doing. Once the readings get down to about 7-8 i dose it back to 12. As for how it looks the water is cloudy and been getting a ton of white powder stuff settling on the bottom. Im assuming from reading here that is dead algae. Right now just going to keep doing what im doing till the kit arrives.
    Intex AG metal frame vinyl sides 10,400 gal. 3000 gph intex pump with 16" sand filter
    My Slam

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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    Sounds good, thanks for the update. I hope it continues to clear up for you.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    jasnovanorder's Avatar
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    Re: Pool newbie. A little help please.

    So did another test today. Things are looking ok to me Not seeing a whole lot of white powder stuff on the bottom so that's good and the water is a little clearer. Friday will order the tf-100 test kit but till then I'm using strips and the cheap chemical test from Walmart. I got that mainly because it uses the reagent to test the cya. Right now the readings are
    TH 200
    FC 10 the highest that I can read
    pH 7.5
    TA 180
    CYA 35

    just going to keep adding according to poolmath to keep the FC above 10 till I can get the new test kit and SLAM it. Also here is a pic
    Intex AG metal frame vinyl sides 10,400 gal. 3000 gph intex pump with 16" sand filter
    My Slam

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