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Thread: New to forums and pools

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    New to forums and pools

    Hey guys, Brand new member and pool newbie. We live in Rock central in Texas LOL, so I bought the kids a small above ground pool for the summer. Just got it set up and almost full now. I am starting to look at the chemicals and levels needed. Did a quick test with a strip that came in a kit we bought. PH was 7.5 but we are on well water and the Alk is 250, actually probably higher. I read to use Muriatic Acid which I happen to have some for my masonry company. But with the high levels I have I was worried about having to add too much to the water. I did a quick calculation and to get down to around 110 I would have to add about 5 quarts. The pool is 6000 gallons. Its 16ft round and 4ft deep.

    The kit I bought had a bottle for PH, a bottle for chlorine and a bag of Shock. I didn't use the PH since it was ok, I added 2 oz for Chlorine and will test it to fine tune it. Not real sure what the Shock is used for other than as a type of cleaner.

    So your help is greatly appreciated.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New to forums and pools

    Welcome!

    Don't sweat the alkalinity. It's not harmful, it just makes pH rise quicker. Use the muriatic acid to keep pH between 7.2 and 7.8 and it will slowly come down on its own. Adding a whole bunch of acid at once will just mess up the pH and keep the pool unswimmable.

    Have you read Pool School - Guide for Seasonal/Temporary Pools ?
    What about Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry ?

    They'll get you started. If you're like most people, you'll end up reading pool school until this
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New to forums and pools

    That's what I thought about Alkalinity. I just didn't want to ruin my pump real fast with super hard water. We have ruined some dishwashers pretty quick and that's after a water softener. I'll read the school pages for sure. I already looked at a few of them trying to figure stuff out.

    My kids are about to jump in for the first time. Added a coupe more oz of chlorine which should get me to the sweet spot. At least it smells like a swimming pool now.

    Thanks for the info.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, I do not have CYA, and didn't even know about it. Didn't come in the kit I thought was complete. I guess its ok to add this later, like next week? How important is it? Everyone is closed this weekend so I can pick some up Monday.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New to forums and pools

    CYA is pretty important to protect chlorine from the sun and buffer the harshness for swimmers. Lowes, Target, HD, walmart all sell CYA, aka stabilizer. It would be better to get some in there sooner than later. If not, test and chlorine a couple of times in the afternoon and again in the evening.
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    Re: New to forums and pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Taxman20 View Post
    Hey guys, Brand new member and pool newbie. We live in Rock central in Texas LOL, so I bought the kids a small above ground pool for the summer. Just got it set up and almost full now. I am starting to look at the chemicals and levels needed. Did a quick test with a strip that came in a kit we bought. PH was 7.5 but we are on well water and the Alk is 250, actually probably higher. I read to use Muriatic Acid which I happen to have some for my masonry company. But with the high levels I have I was worried about having to add too much to the water. I did a quick calculation and to get down to around 110 I would have to add about 5 quarts. The pool is 6000 gallons. Its 16ft round and 4ft deep.

    The kit I bought had a bottle for PH, a bottle for chlorine and a bag of Shock. I didn't use the PH since it was ok, I added 2 oz for Chlorine and will test it to fine tune it. Not real sure what the Shock is used for other than as a type of cleaner.

    So your help is greatly appreciated.
    Correct me if I missed it, but I don't see that you have yet put any significant chlorine into the pool... 2 oz. initially, plus a 'couple more oz' later doesn't really get you far in 6000 gallons. Or, at least, it won't last long without CYA (cyanuric acid) stabilizer in the water, and you will have to add more chlorine frequently, as sunlight and bathers use up what is there. Without adequate chlorine levels, your pool is likely to start growing stuff (algae) pretty quickly. Do you have any kind of test kit, maybe one of those two-chamber deals with one side for chlorine (reads up to 5) and the other for pH? Those can quickly be picked up at any pool place as well as many/most hardware stores, and will help you keep on track short-term. Long-term, one of the recommended test kits (someone has probably already linked to a description) will allow you to manage the pool, know what to add, and when to add it.

    Take a look at PoolMath http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html to see how much bleach is needed for your pool. With 0 CYA, your recommended goals for FC (free chlorine) are between 1 and 3. I have PoolMath set for my 5500 gallon pool at the moment (similar in size to yours), and it shows almost 3 cups of 6.25% bleach to add 2 ppm of FC (just as an example of the kind of quantities I'd expect you to need for your pool). Even if your are using 'liquid pool shock' -- i.e. stronger bleach -- you'd still be using ~ 1 1/2 cups for 2 ppm.

    If the bag of 'shock' you have happens to be dichlor, you could add some of that to start getting CYA into the water (PoolMath, down near the bottom, has an option for entering different types of chemicals, and it will tell you how they change pool chemistry -- dichlor adds both chlorine and CYA to the water). Don't make chlorine levels too high, however, if you expect to have people swimming in the pool.

    And read up in Pool School, as previously suggested, so you can start getting a better understanding of how to run and maintain your new pool. Have fun!
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    Re: New to forums and pools

    I have a couple of testers. One is a strip that test for several things. The other is a liquid test kit. I have the FC to about 2 right now. I added the Crystal Care multi-functional chlorinating granules ( that's the stuff from academy we bought ) a little at a time to be safe and not overdue it. It says it is Sodium Dichloro-s-Triazinetrione. I am assuming this is what you are calling Dichlor?

    The bag of shock says its the same thing. This is a 3 step kit, kinda. Ph is 1st test and set, then add and set the multi functional granules. It never tells me when or why to add the shock.

    The kids are in it right now for a little bit and then I will check again. I can add some Shock to it if it helps.

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    Re: New to forums and pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Taxman20 View Post
    I have a couple of testers. One is a strip that test for several things. The other is a liquid test kit. I have the FC to about 2 right now. I added the Crystal Care multi-functional chlorinating granules ( that's the stuff from academy we bought ) a little at a time to be safe and not overdue it. It says it is Sodium Dichloro-s-Triazinetrione. I am assuming this is what you are calling Dichlor?

    The bag of shock says its the same thing. This is a 3 step kit, kinda. Ph is 1st test and set, then add and set the multi functional granules. It never tells me when or why to add the shock.

    The kids are in it right now for a little bit and then I will check again. I can add some Shock to it if it helps.
    Ah, that explains the quantities you mentioned -- when you said 'bottle' I pictured a liquid, rather than granules.

    Yes, that does sound like dichlor, and should be fine at the moment, since you need to get some CYA into the water anyway. In the long run, however, you don't want to continue chlorinating your pool with this material, as the free chlorine is a consumable item, and must be replenished on a daily basis. The CYA, on the other hand, stays almost indefinitely. If you continue adding more and more CYA, over a period of months or years (as many people do when they follow pool store recommendations), it eventually becomes impossible to maintain adequate free chlorine in the pool. This is why most people here use bleach (liquid) for chlorination -- it doesn't come with all the added baggage that dry forms of chlorine bring with them. This will all make more sense to you as you read more in Pool School!

    For now (the next few days), just make sure that you keep your chlorine levels up, as they will dwindle rapidly (not much stabilizer in the water yet). Then you can consider getting a better test kit, and learn more about pool chemistry by reading here on the site.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    Re: New to forums and pools

    So is the bleach just standard household bleach or a special kind for pools?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New to forums and pools

    Quote Originally Posted by Taxman20 View Post
    So is the bleach just standard household bleach or a special kind for pools?
    Either. They're the same stuff, just different concentrations. Avoid any bleaches that are splashless or scented or have anything other unique feature. Be cautious buying strong pool stuff at big box stores. Sometimes it sits outside for months and loses strength. Check the date code

    Some people crunch the numbers and figure out the cost per %-oz and laundry bleach works out cheaper. Sometimes pool store stuff is actually cheapest.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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