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Thread: Come on in, the water is fine!

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    Come on in, the water is fine!

    Greetings everyone!

    My name is Steve. My wife and I just bought a new home with an existing in-ground pool. It is an 18 x 46, Sylvan cement pool, installed around 1964. We've just had a brand new Quartz finish applied, plus new tile and new brick coping. Our pool contractor is a very nice guy, but he's been less than stellar to deal with, to be honest. But that's another story...

    All of the work has finally been finished. We've already had some 3" tabs in the pool, and the water is crystal clear. Yesterday I took a sample to a local pool store. After getting a reading, they had me put in 5 gallons of liquid chlorine, 1 bag of stabilizer and 1 small bucket of PH decrease. I used an Aquachek "Free Chlorine" test strip. Today my readings are:

    PH - 8.4 or greater. Still too high.
    Free Chlorine - 10 or higher.
    Tot Alk - normal levels
    Stabilizer - normal levels

    To be honest, I have no idea of whether or not I should go swimming yet. From everything I have read, it's suggested that the high PH could be from my new paster. Also, the High FC seems fine, but likely I should wait for it to come down to normal? I have no chlorine smell and the water is not cloudy in anyway, so I assume CC is fine. Again I'm a total newb, so these are all assumptions.

    Anyway, good to meet you all, and if anyone has any immediate comments, I'd love to hear! Oh I have a 2.5 year old son, so I do not want to take any risks with when to OK him to go in water.

    Best,
    Steve

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Welcome to TFP!

    I've removed your link as it isn't needed relative to your thread, and has the appearance of a promotion. I don't think you intended that, but just in case, it keeps you from making that appearance. Have a happy 4th, and enjoy the forum.
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    With new plaster, doesn't your pool builder do your start-up to initiate a warranty?

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    It is safe to swim when

    PH is 7.2 to 7.8
    Chlorine is above minimum level for your CYA
    Chlorine is below shock level for your CYA
    Water is clear

    Use the Chlorine CYA Chart to determine the correct chlorine level based on the CYA level in the pool.
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Thanks everyone. Appreciate all the immediate comments, especially on a holiday! Marian, my builder has been a huge disappointment, so sadly he's not been great in starting us up.

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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Pooldv, this is very helpful. Thanks for that.

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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Looks like my TA has dipped greatly. Reminder I added chemicals last night. So should I just wait it out or be concerned about TA?

    PH 9
    FC 10
    TA 30
    Stab 40

    Thanks in advance

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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Steve, you should order one of the recommended test kits as soon as possible (TF-100 or a Taylor). Those pool store readings are likely not accurate.

    Also a good idea to not use any more tabs, just liquid bleach.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Thanks Borjis. I will take out the tabs for now and order a different test kit. Just wondering if the TA dip is cause for concern at the immediate moment. Thanks.
    1964 Sylvan 18' x 46' in-ground - 32,000 Gal - re-plastered June 14, 2015, Diamond Brite quartz plaster - Hayward DE 4820 Filter - 1.0 HP Emerson motor with a Hayward super pump

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    I wish I had more confidence in your test kit. That PH is bad and TA is bad. But, I am nervous about adding baking soda to raise TA.

    Use Pool School - PoolMath and be sure to enter your gallons, ph before 9 and after 7.5 and TA 30 and target 50 and hit calculate. Add however much muriatic acid it says to lower your PH. You may need to do this more than once.

    I think for now add 30oz of muriatic acid and 2lbs of baking soda, run the pump 15-20 min and retest PH and TA.
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Yes, I only have one of those $11 strip test kits. I just now ordered the Taylor K-2006 and will have it in two days. Tomorrow I will re-test and if nothing changes, your recommendations sound good. I would not be so worried if not for the new plaster job, but my pool guy has told me absolutely nothing so I am studying the internet for information like crazy. I appreciate this board and the experts taking their personal time to help.

    Thanks again.
    1964 Sylvan 18' x 46' in-ground - 32,000 Gal - re-plastered June 14, 2015, Diamond Brite quartz plaster - Hayward DE 4820 Filter - 1.0 HP Emerson motor with a Hayward super pump

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Here is an article in Pool School about plaster start up, Pool School - Start-up New Plaster

    Which says it is important to keep PH below 7.8. I think you should add acid to lower PH.
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Hi Steve,
    welcome to TFP.

    you did the right thing ordering a good and extremely reliable test kit. It will be the best investment you make for your pool maintenence - bar none.

    I agree with pooldv. Get your pH down.
    New plaster needs to be taken care of properly. the pool school article should get you through that.
    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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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    We have you covered! I was going to post the link for starting new plaster and BOOM there is was!

    You ALREADY ordered the test kit???? SWEET! That will save you so much heart ache!

    Get some muratic Acid. Make sure it is the 31% not the "safer" stuff. I get mine a Lowes by the pool stuff outside. NEVER store you MA anywhere your chlorine is or by any metal.

    You can get a little PH test kit from Walmart for cheap that will get you start on getting your PH down. It will come with a chlorine test as well. It will get you started on saving your plaster.

    We LOVE to see pics.............

    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: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Thanks everyone! One last question (probably not lol), is there a major difference between muratic acid and sodium bisulfate, or dry acid as it seems to be called? I've already put some of that into the pool so would like to know the main difference. Thanks again. You're all awesome.

    Kim here is pic. It turns sideways for some reason.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by stevegoods; 07-04-2015 at 09:37 PM. Reason: added pic.
    1964 Sylvan 18' x 46' in-ground - 32,000 Gal - re-plastered June 14, 2015, Diamond Brite quartz plaster - Hayward DE 4820 Filter - 1.0 HP Emerson motor with a Hayward super pump

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Hi Steve,
    we recommend muriatic acid over dry mostly because Muriatic is less expensive per oz of active ingredient.
    More bang for the buck. Nothing wrong with using dry acid though.

    Chemically, I dont believe I could answer you question about the differences.

    Great looking pool you have there!
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Nice pool! Let's get that PH in line so you can swim!

    The only issue with using dry acid is that it adds sulfates to the pool which can cause issues long term. But, using what you have is no problem at all. Use it first and then switch to MA.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Do store already opened bottles of MA outside in the shade somewhere. Inside or in the garage will cause corrosion to all things near it.
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Thanks again, everyone! I'll keep you posted on the progress. The family can't wait to swim, especially my little son who doesn't understand why we can't go in yet.
    1964 Sylvan 18' x 46' in-ground - 32,000 Gal - re-plastered June 14, 2015, Diamond Brite quartz plaster - Hayward DE 4820 Filter - 1.0 HP Emerson motor with a Hayward super pump

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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    Long term use of dry a acid will build up Sulfates in the pool. In time and at higher concentrations Sulfates can be detrimental to plaster and or, they can build up to a point of forming Crystals as they come out of solution. Use up what you have and make the switch to 31.4% Muriatic. Congrats on taking a new step forward with. Proper kit, and welcome to the forum.
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Come on in, the water is fine!

    OOOOOOOOOOOO AWWWWWWWWWWWW! That is a PRETTY pool! I love the shape and that accent on the steps!

    Please make sure to ask ANY question you might have. We LOVE to help!

    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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