Cya at 50, still losing 3-5ppm fc-water clear

Hey guys! I’m at a loss here and was hoping you all could help. I’ve been trying this LC method for 2 years now and I can’t seem to get it right. Last year, I kept my cya between 30-40 and went through gallons and gallons of LC weekly because it dropped so much during the day. This year I have upped my cya to 50 and still can’t seem to maintain my fc. This year, after adding enough stabilizer to get my cya to 30-40, I began using pucks in the chlorinator and then adding LC in the evening. That seemed to keep everything stable and I was only losing about 1.5-2 ppm a day in fc. A couple of days ago, when cya reached 50, I stopped using pucks and I’m only using LC and it’s back to losing 3-5ppm a day in fc. Last night it was at 8ppm and this morning I’ve already lost 2 ppm. I am in direct sunlight all day long, until 6:30-7pm. Water is crystal clear. So my question is, should I up my cya to 60??? I’m scared to do so in case I get algae and have to slam, but I just don’t know what else to do. I don’t want to give up on this method!! After testing this morning, I’ve added enough LC to bring it back up to 8ppm and then put 2 pucks in the chlorinator 🤦🏻‍♀️
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36 x 18 Vinyl on Long Island - Help a New Member - Taylor K-2006C!

My name is Chris, and my wife and I live on Long Island, NY. I've spent the past two summers reading posts every now and then, but it is finally time to join.

We have a 36 x 18 vinyl in-ground pool w/ steps (~26k gallons based on a calculator) that was built in '85 and the Hayward DE filter, Hayward 1.5 HP pump , SaniKing Perform-Max (3" slow tab TriChlor) dispenser, are probably from 2005+. We use a Dolphin Premiere robot to clean once or twice a week. We technically have a second pump for a basic leaf cleaner, but I do not use it after recommendations to use an electric bot instead.

We bought the house at the end of 2019, but since it was a foreclosure the pool was unused for many years. After having the pool inspected in November 2019, my wife and I spent a good two months in the spring of 2020 cleaning it out. It was dark and full of debris. We removed 11 landscaping bags worth of leaves. Plus, backwashing multiple times a day for well over a week. If there had been a body, I would not have been surprised.

My wife said let's just drain it, I said no, we are going to clean it out and "earn it." My avatar shows the before/after in 2020. In the end, I am glad we did so much work, I learned a lot about the system. Cleaning the DE filter myself was a feat in itself.

The past two summers have been great overall and our extended family and friends love it. Eventually we will get a heater and switch to salt water.

I recently put in a WaterGuru Sense to send daily reports on FC, pH and temperature, however, it seemed lower than what I was getting with a basic test kit, or what Leslie's AccuBlue report was saying. So, after reading the forums I decided to get a Taylor K-2006C. I have done a test today, all results within the same hour and area of the pool (well, WG is from the skimmer), but I tested the water at the same end/side of the pool. Below the pics below are the test results. I'd love some advice as I think the FC from the Taylor kit is way off.

Spring 2020 - Earning it

Summer 2021 - (Tree on the right is no longer there and the grass is a lot greener now)

Spring 2022 - LED light w/ new wiring

I'd love any suggestions as the results do not completely match:

FC = 3.5
pH = 7.0
Flow = Normal (although often it says low. I've been trying to change how the cassette is positioned, which helps)

Leslie's AccuBlue
FC = 3.87
TC = 3.87
pH = 7.4
TA = 86
CH = 85 (They say I need 55 lbs 2 oz of their Hardness Plus, but they are out in store)
CYA = 46
Iron = 0
Copper = 0
Phosphates = 7 (It was 139 a few days ago, but I treated it with Leslie's No Phos)
TDS = 600

Taylor K-2006C -> First time used, brand new
FC = 5 (Took about 25 drops of r-0871 to be completely clear...did I do it wrong?)
CC = 0.04
pH = 7.3
TA = 80
CH = 80
CYA = 33
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Low Cya and high Fc

We had a VSP put in about 2 weeks ago but when our pool guy did it, between storms and his busy schedule, the pool wasn't circulated for about 4.5 days. Of course the water has been cloudy since then. Before finding tfp I was only using the test strips.

They have consistently been showing very low Cya but higher free chlorine. After adding 4 lbs stabalizer( his recommendation) the water has gotten clearer but it isn't crystal clear yet. The levels are still the same according to the test strips.

My 2006c water tester is scheduled to be delivered today so I can properly test and do this myself going forward. Is there anything i should do to get ready? I have liquid chlorine on hand ready to slam. Should i turn off the SWG? I will post the test results as soon as I can.

Thanks for any advice

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What a difference

Hello all,
So glad I found this site. I'm less than 72 hours in on my SLAM and boy what a difference. The two pics below show what my pool looked like on Monday and what it looks like today (Thursday). I started SLAMming Monday night and hopefully my OCLT will come back good tomorrow and I can exit SLAM. I currently meet the other two requirements.

Thanks for the tips and this site. Bonus is that I now have a cool and robust testing kit.

P.S. Please excuse the area around the pool. It was just installed last month and we still have work to do.

Another pool store vs home testing thread

Out of curiosity I took a sample to Leslie's today to compare their "AccuBlue" machine to my own tests using the TF-100 (plus a digital pH meter). Collected a large sample and split it in half, tested half myself, filled a sample bottle with the other half and took it to the Leslie's down the street immediately after my tests. I've been working to get my TA down for the last couple weeks (acid, aerate, repeat), so I've been testing a lot, and the numbers have all been very consistent with the exception of the pH ups and downs and the slowly dropping TA. So, enough rambling, on to the results:
FC - Leslie's AccuBlue - 7.21 TF100 - 6.5 (close enough, I guess?)
CC - Leslie's Accublue - 0.00 TF100 - 0 (they actually report total chlorine instead, so FC+CC, but they reported the same exact number for both)
pH - Leslie's AccuBlue - 8 TF100 - 7.4 (I expected they'd at least get the pH correct, but it was way off, and I tested pH with both my digital meter and with the K-1000, which both agreed with each other)
TA - Leslie's AccuBlue - 10 TF100 - 100 (I've been slowly dropping TA which was at 160 a couple weeks ago, they suggested I raise it!)
CH - Leslie's AccuBlue - 493 TF100 - 825 (I wish my CH was only 493, I've been debating doing a partial drain and fill using a portable water softener to get my CH lower)
CYA - Leslie's AccuBlue - 53 TF100 - 50 (This one is always the one I have the least confidence in testing at home, so not sure what to say about it matching questionable results)
Copper - Leslies AccuBlue - 0.3 TF100 - don't test (Employee said all of the tests are showing that lately, and to ignore it as it's probably not true. Lol, way to give customers confidence in your tests!)
Phosphates - Leslie's AccuBlue - 1,970 TF100 - don't test (Employee made a big deal about this, of course)

So, I guess to anyone wondering about the AccuBlue system, I wouldn't use any of the results for anything, ever. I'm half tempted to take a sample to a different store, or the same store in a few days, and see how different they are. Also half tempted to order a Taylor phosphate test kit just out of curiosity, even though I don't really care about my phosphate levels.

Also worth noting that there was a guy in front of me having his water tested, and the employee asked him several times if he'd recently drained and refilled his pool. Guy said no, but his results were super low TA and CH, and almost zero CYA. Apparently his CYA and CH were fine 2 weeks ago, and I know that neither of those just disappear, so it seemed really odd to me.
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UGH!!! My pool is infested ...


It started out with small patch of pink flamingo and I was ok with that because I was keeping my levels right where the pool store told me to and I gave it a good brushing....then all of sudden it turned into a pack of llamas!?!?! I used my test strips and all the colors say "OK" .... what can I do?? Should I use some floc?? The pool store suggested I use a product call "Alpaca Annihilator Plus" which is specially designed for salt water pools, but I'm a little's like $50 for an 8oz bottle....

What would you do?? Maybe I should just drain the pool and start over.....


New guy's first question

Ok, I'm sort of lost. A lot of chem talk. A whole lot of good information to absorb. I'm posting some new guy thoughts and a few questions that perhaps should be different threads? I will start a SWG thread regarding one such question. If I am doing something procedurally wrong, please let me know.

It seems from reading some of the threads and posts, I have been lucky to have what little success I did have. I have been throwing money away using chemicals I don't need and perhaps stressing my equipment. I wouold appreciate any ideas or comments.

So, so far I gleaned the following:
  1. Test kit- I'm going to order the recommended test kit, upping my game and buying the big boy kit, having used the little paper things for 15 years it seems past due.
  2. Test often and always
  3. Use liquid chlorine and not tabs
  4. I should NOT ignore my CYA.
  5. Perhaps switch to salt ( that might be my own obsession)
  6. Keep reading the threads
My CYA is always very low as are my ph and alkalinity. I use soda ash on occasion and always find I'm adding baking soda (from BJ's)
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CYA/Chlorine - Angry pool store guy

I went to the pool store today with two objectives. I wanted to test my CYA and buy some acid. "Why don't you test the CYA yourself?," you ask. A few reasons actually... That particular test is the least fun one to do because it doesn't require my auto stirrer. I love my Taylor auto stirrer! So fun! I also have trouble convincing myself when I can no longer see the black dot. Those of you who test your own CYA know EXACTLY what I mean. As I needed get some acid anyway, I figured I would have the pool store test my water for free. Instead of getting some test results and basic chemicals, I got a whole lot of drama!

After the pool store guy tested my water and recognized my chlorine level was low, he asked me what I had my chlorinator set to. I didn't even want to talk about chlorine levels. I already knew it was low when I tested it earlier with my cool auto stirrer! I was literally going to home and add chlorine and acid. Anyway... "Here we go," I thought to myself as I calmly stated, "actually I'm just using liquid chlorine right now." I guess the words "liquid chlorine" triggered the pool store guy because he proceeded to lecture me about how bad liquid chlorine is for my pool. He went so far as to claim that liquid chlorine will raise my TDS levels to the point that the high TDS will render "all the chemicals in my pool ineffective." "We don't even sell liquid chlorine here because we cannot in good conscience recommend it," he exclaimed. Although I wasn't there for an argument, the pool store guy's aggressive nature made me feel compelled to explain myself. I calmly argued that I use mostly liquid chlorine and only use pucks to add CYA when it gets low. I explained that 100% use of pucks previously raised my CYA to up over 100ppm. I argued (very unsuccessfully) that the higher the CYA, the higher the chlorine has to be to maintain its effectiveness. I also explained that the only time I've ever had algae in my pool was when my CYA was over 100ppm and I was maintaining chlorine in the 2-4ppm. The pool store guy angrily responded by stating that CYA up to 200 ppm is completely fine and that his 30 years of experience proves him to be correct. He said TDS levels were much more important. He made a scene in the store, threw my test results on the floor, and said I was managing my pool completely backwards. He yelled, "You're managing your pool all backwards my friend!" Why do people call you their friend when they're trying to insult you? Pool store guys aren't my friends! Anyway, my "friend" then refused to sell me the chemicals I came in to buy. He was so frustrated that he passed me off to a co-worker to ring up the chemicals because he, "just couldn't deal with it." I didn't even want to get into a debate. I just wanted to see what my CYA was, buy some acid, and pick up some Torchy's Tacos next door. Lesson learned. Test your water yourself and don't over analyze the black dot!

Ok, so I know pool stores do not follow the TFP method. But are they now aggressively claiming that the method is flat out wrong and causing harm to your pool!? Is the industry angry at the TFP method because it reduces demand for profitable chemicals that aren't needed? Is this pool store guy so defensive because deep down he knows I'm right? Or is this guy just a bad employee who has happened to have been trained wrong for 30 years? Why is this CYA/Chlorine relationship so divisive in the industry? It's based on science, factual studies, and demonstrated results. I've had no algae, no need to SLAM, and no need to drain my pool for over four years now. Outside of politics, I've never seen so called "experts" deny factual information to such an extent. What is happening!?

3 weeks of SLAM, still cloudy :(

3 weeks of notes to go over, exhausted from this pool - will try to remember all relevant info. Seems like info overkill, but this seems like a pretty detailed oriented community. Here goes:

- Intex 20’ round with sand filter pump
- used to take down the old 18’ intex with inflatable ring every fall. Was a hassle. Wanted to try to leave the new one up, even through New England winter. Drained to below holes, stored hoses and pumps inside for winter. Hopes for best.
- left uncovered over winter, underneath several oaks. Not smart. Scooped best I could through November. Scooped out a freshly dead squirrel one day. Gross.
- pool was brown/black at start of SLAM in late May
- initially ran just my old cartridge pump from lid 18’ intex for fear of choking sand filter to death.
- guesstimated water volume at 4800gal
- scooped and scooped and scooped and then scooped some more for days and days.
- gallons upon gallons of bleach. Water improved from black to brown to tan to cloudy white to cloudy blue. scooped some more
- filled from approx 4800gal to 7400gal, hooked up sand filter pump
- slow progress for a week. Forgot I should brush too
- brushed for days and days. Multiple times a day. Ran both pumps. Attached photo shows cartridge pump with extra long hose I weighted down to try and get it to suck the bad stuff off bottom
- I have gone through LOTS of r0871 reagent.
- CC is consistently low, below 0.5ppm
- PoolMath has been asking for FC in neighborhood of 12 to 15 depending on water level and CYA amount. CYA is currently around 30 after fresh water add from 4800 to 7400gal. Was around 50 before. That test is sketchy. Not impressed. My wife and I see black dots at different levels. But confident now it’s 30 or lower.
- FC during day plummets during day presumably with low CYA and sun exposure. Adding around 6cups of 10% to keep at level, though during the week - tough to do every hour or two unless this pool becomes my full time job.
-pH tough to read accurately with super high FC. Using other kit with chlorine neutralizer, seems to be around 7.5
-CH is super low at 30. Vinyl pool though, does it matter?
-TA is 100 after adding a couple cups of baking soda yesterday

Planning to spend weekend brushing and brushing some more. Was encouraged yesterday as it seemed I could see more of the brush head below water surface, but discouraged this morning that some cloudiness has returned. I could also just be imagining things at this point. I see this pool in my sleep it seems.

Sand has been deep cleaned, twice. Second time very effectively. That was good. Sand was gross. Hopefully that will help. Secondary cartridge filter doesn’t clog as quickly anymore, and with CC being so consistently low - I’m wondering if this cloudiness is something different and if it will ever clean up with current method.

I need some expert suggestions! :)

FC = 11.5
CC < 0.5
pH = unreliable at FC >10, but I think it’s 7.5
CH = 30
Bleach = endless application of 10%
Shoulders = tired
patience = low
Using Taylor K2006 kit to help document my saga.



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Help! with pool plaster quartz discoloration mystery, it's so weird! Please help!

For all you pool experts that like a challenging puzzle

Last summer (2016) our pool was a little over a year old when the plaster quartz (QuartzScapes) started getting dark gray discoloration/staining/mottling. Our water was crystal clear and our chemicals were perfect (BBB & Taylor test kit) except the calcium kept rising which we assumed was from the new plaster.

The pool was plastered spring 2015 and the temp was 105 degrees F. They did not tent the pool or run misters to cool down the plaster. I have read that plaster contractors sometimes add extra calcium to speed up the hardening but should only do it when it is cold out.

Here's the real mystery:
The gray mottling was everywhere except:
- the Baja shelf was completely clear of any mottling and looked perfect.
- And there was a path or strip about 18" wide down the middle of the pool from the shallow end to the deep end that was completely free of the staining/discoloration.
Also, the mottling or staining was much worse in the spa than anywhere else in the pool.

We tried every test we could find for staining:
-Black algae or other organic cause, negative.
-Metals, negative
-Scale, negative
-Marks from black pool vacuum wheels, negative

We finally decided it was a bad case of plaster mottling and contacted the plaster contractor. I was ready for a big battle, but their customer service has been great. They agreed it was not our chemicals. They also did not know why the calcium levels kept going up. They couldn't figure out what was causing the mottling but agreed to drain the pool, and sand/polish the entire surface. We were happy they wanted to do that rather than an acid wash which I felt would make it worse. They did insist after sanding it to do a VERY light acid wash to rinse away the powder from sanding.

After the sanding, the pool plaster looks great. We could still see the strip down the middle where had been clear of any mottling as it was now slightly bluer, like it had more blue quartz in it but it isn't too noticeable so we were okay with it.

My concern with their approach is that they are not finding the root cause of the problem. Sanding only removes the discoloration, but without knowing what caused it in the first place, there's no way to know if it will happen again or how to prevent it.

Then the HUGE AH Ha moment came. When they started refilling the pool, they put the hose over the side of the pool at the shallow end, and the water ran from the shallow end straight down the middle of the pool to the deep end in the EXACT same path or strip of pool floor where there had been NO mottling, and it was the exact same ~18" wide path. We moved the hose around a bit and no matter where the hose was, the water gravitated to that exact path so it is obviously slightly dipped down the center causing the water to follow that path every time. So that strip of plaster had much colder water running down it for hours when they first filled the pool after the original plaster job.

Our second ah ha moment came when we remembered that when they originally filled the pool after plastering, they put one of the the hoses on the baja shelf, so the Baja shelf also had much colder water constantly running over it for many hours and the Baja shelf also had NO mottling/discoloring.

Our third ah ha moment came when my spouse remembered that the spa was filled last so its plaster was in the hot blazing sun for the longest of anywhere in the pool, and the spa had the worse mottling of the whole pool.

So we are surmising that the cold hose water (our tap water runs cold even in the summer unlike some other AZ areas) on the Baja shelf and the strip down the middle of the pool kept plaster cooler for several hours causing the plaster to cure a little slower in those areas than the rest of the pool plaster.

So knowing what we know, what does it all mean for the future of our plaster? Does this mean the plaster was allowed to cure too fast in the heat and they should have tented/shaded the plaster and/or used misters to lower the temperatures? I know it got hot very fast that spring-- we had been having a cool spring, just 15 days earlier the high had been in the 70s. And what's causing the calcium to rise? Is it leaching out causing the mottling? After they filled the pool after sanding it, the calcium was 300 and now a week later it is up to 400.

Please help me with this mystery.
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Extended Test Kit Directions

Extended Test Kit Directions

These directions are for use with test kits based on Taylor chemistry, such as the TF-100 from, the Taylor K-2006, and the Leslie's Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Test Kit, and also for a few other tests that are commonly recommended here at TFP. Over the years we have found the Taylor chemistry to be the most reliable and precise available (unless you spend a lot of money on fancy lab equipment).

For normal day to day use of the test kit, it is best to follow the directions that come with the test kit. These directions are much more detailed and attempt to list all of the possible special situations and complications that can arise. This extra information can be very helpful, it can also be overwhelming.

If you have never used a test kit before, start out with the directions that came with your kit. Then, if you are having problems, come here to find out all the details. These directions can also be handy if you are already familiar with the normal operation of the test kit and want to learn all of the details and special cases.

Proper Storage

Test kit reagents should be stored in a cool dark place. It is important that you protect them from freezing, avoid extended periods in direct sunlight, avoid extended periods at high temperatures, and minimize the number of large temperature swings they are exposed to. You don't want to store reagents in the refrigerator and then take them out each time you want to test because that would be a large temperature swing. You also don't want to store them in a garden shed because it will heat up to too high a temperature during the day in the summer and can get too cold at night in the winter, early spring, and late fall. Storing reagents inside a cabinet in a heated and air conditioned house is ideal.

Taylor recommends replacing all reagents each year. We have found that when they are stored properly reagents will last several years. Using reagents over several years requires that you watch for the possibility that they have gone bad. There are comments below on each of the reagents that tend to go bad with age suggesting ways you can tell when they have spoiled.
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Hydroxyl based advanced oxidation by Clear Comfort CCW100

My neighbor just had this system installed. I checked his water chemistry using my Taylor kit and obtained some strange results. His pool is plaster, in ground, 10,000 gallons. He unfortunately has been using stabilzed chlorine tablets where the manual said not to. His FC was off the wall..after 50 titration drops done twice I stopped titration.CYA greater than 100ppm, alkalinity test went from green to yellow (not red) at about 10 drops (agents are fresh and work perfectly on my pool).
Question: Does this hydroxyl system affect accurate free chlorine and alkalinity test?
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Warning About Walmart Liquid Chlorine

Hi All,
I just want to share my experience with you in hopes that it will prevent someone else from going through this hassle...
I have been a (mostly silent) member of this forum for many years and I come back each spring to refresh my knowledge and keep updated on swimming pool care. I have been managing our pool's chemistry for almost 17 years and I started using the SLAM/Bleach method about eight years ago.
This spring, I noticed that my local Walmart had started selling Pool Essentials (brand) Liquid Chlorine (10% Sodium Hypochlorite) for a really good price. I decided to try it and was delighted with the results. I used it to slam my pool and tested carefully, every day, to get my chemistry just right. My pool was pristine, sparkling and balanced as of three weeks ago. Then, suddenly, about a week later, I noticed some algae starting along the walls and steps. We've had quite a lot of rain down here so I attributed it to an alkaline rain. I tested, meticulously, and treated with acid and chlorine. Nothing seemed to change.
We were getting ready to leave town for 12 days and I had promised our house-sitters use of our pool while we were away, so I purchased more liquid chlorine from my local Walmart and kept testing... My Calcium Hardness was great (300), my CYA was 30, and my TA was at 90, but for some reason, my chlorine levels were barely inching up (that should have been my first clue, but I was stressed about other things that were happening right before our trip -- both my washing machine and clothes dryer broke down, and then my kitchen sink developed a leak!).

Desperate, the night before we left on vacation, I tested and added 4 more gallons of liquid chlorine to the pool. I also left a couple of gallons for our house-sitters to add while we were gone. We arrived home last night to dark, GREEN SWAMP! :( Not only did my guests NOT get to use the pool, but my once perfectly balanced pool now looks like the nasty fish tank from "Finding Nemo!" At midnight last night, I added some acid and my last gallon of liquid chlorine thinking it would be better than nothing, but I swear, this morning it looked WORSE. I went to Walmart, bought several more gallons of liquid chlorine and was in the process of pouring them in when it suddenly occurred to me that I couldn't smell the chlorine. I cautiously lifted the jug to my nose: NOTHING. It smelled like stale water. I have a very sensitive nose, but I never bothered to check the chlorine I was pouring in my pool, probably due to all the stress before our trip, the chaos of getting ready to leave, etc. Anyway, it never occurred to me that the chlorine was bad! And ALL FOUR gallons I bought today are bad. They all smell like water, without a hint of chlorine. :(
I know for a fact that the chlorine they were selling at the start of the season was good stuff, but either Walmart has been sold some bad chems or they are clueless about how to store liquid chlorine and they are ruining their own merchandise! I will be returning the still full bottles first thing tomorrow and I doubt I will ever buy chemicals from Walmart again! :mad:

New vinyl line arriving Saturday!

I am happy to announce the new liner for our 14,000 gal pool arrives Saturday. I’ve found posts in the TFP forums where testing my tap water (city water) prior to the fill is a good idea. Any other suggestions are welcomed. (E.T. (left here by previous homeowners) will finally be poolside by a clear pool. 😊


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Above Ground Pool Help for a Rookie

Hi All,

I’ve read some articles but haven’t yet found the answers I’m looking for. I *think Leslie’s is my 1st problem. I finally bought a non Leslie’s test kit. It’s coming soon. I can’t keep the chlorine levels up for anything. I have 3 tabs of in the swim 3 inch tablets with stabilizer. My FC is below 1. I did buy a gallon of chlorinating liquid from Home Depot that will help bring it up for a day or so. Test strip said my alkalinity was low so I put Leslie’s Alkalinity up in but it seemed to just sit on the bottom and eventually turn green. My filter is a cartridge and I’ve been cleaning it every 3 days to keep the pump at a good pressure. I feel like I’m doing something totally wrong. Why aren’t the 3 tabs keeping it chlorinated? I’m in Texas and it’s HOT!! Water temp is 89°. I did read something about a light causing issues and I do have a pool light that is full of yuk looking water. Do I need to remove that? Is there a basic regimen I should be doing? What products are reputable. Please help! Or point me in the right direction. Thank you!!!!
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New build

Hi. Thank you to all the creators and members of TFP. We have been getting quite the education! Below is a comprehensive summary of our new build. Please feel free to review and share your critique, feedback, questions, or comments.

Project Dimensions: ≈16k gallons, 440 sq ft, 124’ perimeter, IG, shotcrete, salt water
  • Lap Pool– 8’ x 48.3’ 4 entry stairs and 1 rear exit 2 person seat/stair
  • Spa – 6’ x 8’ – spa is level with the pool with all 1’ porcelain travertine tile spa wall (spill way)
  • Pool Depths – 3’9” until past exercise rail then 4’0” (total shallow end about 24’) to 6’0” depth
  • Spa Depth – 3’9”
  • Auto cover by Cover Pool T4 System with vanishing lid (track under the coping, travertine cover box housing), quad fabric forest green, steel grade & stainless steel ropes, CoverLink keypad touch pad, maybe with wi-fi
  • BADU Swim Jet system (see below) ( Badu®Stream II – SwimJet System | SPECK Pumps )
  • Upgraded heaters – see equipment section
  • Latticrete Hydroban waterproofing at the waterline and spa wall spillway areas prior to tile install
Permits and Engineering:
  • Includes standard structural pool engineering
  • Includes upslope with retaining wall surcharge engineering detail
  • Includes auto cover vault engineering detail
  • Includes City of San Diego combination building permit
  • Includes setting elevations, layout and forming
  • Includes guaranteed excavation with the exception of rock or hard ground conditions
  • Hard ground conditions are any ground that requires the use of a breaker or ripper
  • Includes removing all pool dirt & sod from site – including trucking and dump fees
  • Removal of travertine sidewalk and patio to allow for gas lines
Steel Reinforcement:
  • Steel reinforcement to meet or exceed local building codes
  • Includes Five (5) #4 bars in the bond beam
  • All steel surcharge to be #4 bar where required
  • All steel to be properly blocked up and spaced to allow proper shotcrete coverage
  • Includes double curtain spa wall rebar
  • All plumbing to meet building and health department standards
  • Pool plumbing to be hydraulically balanced with water velocities of less than 7’ per second
  • All plumbing lines to be PVC schedule 40 pipe
  • Includes variable speed pool filtration pump for energy efficiency
  • Includes dedicated main drain
  • Includes dedicated cleaner line with valve
  • Includes 2 Waterway commercial grade skimmers with dedicated suction line w/ 2.5" Pipe (each separately plumbed to the pad). Skimmers to be placed 15' from each end of pool.
  • Includes dedicated 2HP spa jet booster pump with 3” suction
  • All plumbing to be pressure tested throughout construction
  • Includes equipotential deck bonding per building code.
  • Includes auto fill with overflow to be connected to yard drainage by drainage contractor
  • Plumbing hook up for thermal solar panels. Add 2 solar stub, 2” lines to house & 1/2” conduit
  • Returns: The pool has 3 full size 1.5 inch return lines with waterway flush mount adjustable eyeball fittings. Return locations to be determined. Will be installed to push water towards the skimmer for better skimming action. A dedicated deep heat return at the deep end for better mixing when the heater is on is included.
  • Heater-PB sets up a spa spillway mode that automatically turns the valve and send 100% of the water back to the spa and spa spills over into the pool. This is usually set up for a couple of hours every day to keeps the pool one body of water.
  • TFP comment re bypass on heater- PB says: Since we have a chemical controller, PB will need to check with Pentair on what they recommend for spa filtration. A hard plumbed spa bypass is the older way of doing it, but it might be the better way for a chemical controller. PB will get some feedback from the Pentair rep on this issue. PB also install a check valve right after the heater.
  • Work with thermal Solar professionals as needed in process of pool builiding
Gas Line:
  • Includes gas line from meter to pool equipment location
  • Includes gas hook up at pool heaters and house with shut off valves
  • Includes upsized 2” gas line for long gas run
  • Includes shotcrete pool structure per engineered plans and specifications with continuous bond beam around skimmer(s)
  • Buyer agrees to water shotcrete structure twice a day for five days after placement.
  • Includes 3500-PSI Shotcrete
  • PB places heavy emphasis structural strength. This means heavy steel schedules spaced properly and heavy PSI on our shotcrete placement.
Clean Up and Backfill
  • Includes thorough cleanup of all pool construction debris
  • Includes backfill and compaction of all plumbing, gas, and electrical ditches
  • Filtration Pump – Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump
  • Jet Pump - Pentair 2HP Whisperflo pump
  • Filter – Pentair Clean and Clear 420 s.f. cartridge filter
  • Heater – Pentair ETI 400,000 BTU high efficiency heater (natural gas)
  • Heat Pump – AquaCal Heatwave SuperQuiet SQ 225
  • Pool Lights – Five Pentair Microbrite LED color lights (facing away from house)
  • Spa Light – Pentair Microbrite LED color light
  • Controller – Pentair Intellicenter pool control system with mobile device interface
  • Salt System – Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWG>upgrade IC60 if desired
  • Chem Controller – Pentair Intellichem water chemistry controller
  • UV system – Pentair Bioshield UV disinfection sanitizer
  • Spa Jets – 6 hydrotherapy jets (variable speed pump)
  • Spa Jets – 8 hydrotherapy jets (booster pump)
  • Spa Jets --Standard shotcrete venturi tee type jets. PB also installs the waterway flush mount adjustable eyeball fittings on each jet, like the returns in the pool.
  • Auto Fill – Pentair Intellilevel auto fill
  • Pool Sweep – Hayward Sweep line placed in the middle of house side of the pool ( The PoolCleaner 4 Wheel Suction Cleaner, White | Hayward Residential and Commercial Pool Products )
Equipment Pad area:
  • Equipment pad footprint is ≈ 4’x14’. Includes a two pump system with filter, heater, heat pump, and chemical controller. PB will include space in front of the equipment for somebody to be able to stand there and service the equipment.
  • Considering a 4’x4’ shower area and ground drain area to rinse off before/after swimming. Not done by PB
  • Will install light in this area as suggested on TFP
  • Includes complete electrical hook up of all equipment and lights
  • Includes set up and programming of Intellicenter and mobile device set up
  • Includes a dedicated 50 amp circuit for the AquaCal Heatwave SuperQuiet SQ 225 heat pump
  • GFCI protected outlet at the pool equipment area
  • Includes a switched circuit to use the pool controller to turn on and off the lights
  • Includes pool control panel which is a sub-panel with breakers
  • Includes Travertine pool and spa coping
  • Includes bullnose edge – travertine should be minimum 2” thick for auto cover track attachment
  • Includes Laticrete Hydro Ban water proofing system
  • Includes NPT VeraCruz sand/cream (tbd) color 12”x24” ceramic porcelain water line tile. Installer to cut 6”x24”
  • Includes Lightstreams Shell Beach Decorative Glass Tile Strands step trim for all steps & benches
  • Includes 5 lane markers diagonally placed 10’ apart at 3’, 13.5’, 24’, 34.5’, 45’ (NPT Art Deco Rainbow glass 4”x4” 2 dolphins, 2 starfish & 1 nautilus)
  • Includes NPT Stonescape Micro Pebble (color Moraine) pool and spa finish
  • Includes matching flush mount return fittings
  • Includes matching VGB compliant drain covers
Automatic Pool Cover:
  • Pool cover by Cover Pools
  • Includes 440 square foot automatic pool cover
  • Includes automatic cover–buyers’ choice of standard quad colors (likely forest green)
  • Includes monolithic cover vault with steel and shotcrete construction
  • Includes drain outlet for vault – hardscape contractor to connect drain
  • Includes stainless steel brackets for hidden lid system
  • Includes matching coping lid pieces.
  • Stainless steel ropes
  • Includes hard wired remote CoverLink keypad touch pad maybe with wi-fi
Swim Jet:
  • Includes Badu Jet Stream 2 swim system
  • Includes Two BaduStream II Jets combined with one 4HP Speck pump
  • Includes hard wired pool side controller
  • Note: BADU pump to be located no further than 30’ from swim jets
  • Includes 4’ inch plumbing
Start Up:
  • Includes all start up equipment including: brush, net, pole, thermometer, test kit (of our choosing)
  • Includes all programming
  • Includes all initial pool chemicals
  • includes client walk through and orientation
  • Includes 30 days pool service
Additional Specifications:
  • Includes all spa benches and ledges per plan.
  • Includes one exit seat/step at back of pool. Bench will seat 2 adults. Depth TBD (considering 18” of water depth). PB offers to add a top step at the end of the bench if choose.
  • Includes SR Smith 2’ exercise hand rail at shallow end post entry stairs on house side of pool
  • Includes SR Smith deck mounted entry step hand rail
  • Additional handrail if 1 handrail does not work for entry to spa step and pool steps
  • SR Smith deck mounted back step hand rail
  • Thermal Panels- Swim Jet brand 400 sq ft.
  • Solar PV 10 new SunPower 415 watts panels & 21 Sun World 260 watts, older yet useable panels
Decking Specifications (Left front, left side and back of house)
  • 2883 sq ft Travertine pavers high grade honed and filled in creams shades with variations (French pattern layout, dry mound
  • All Travertine sealed for color and protection. Non slip
For those of you who like pictures, we included a few of the renderings.
1-2-25-21_002.jpg2-25-21_004.jpg03-11-21_004.jpg03-11-21_003.jpg03-11-21_002.jpg02-25-21_018.jpg2-25-21_013.jpgThank you for taking the time to read!

Lowering my CYA without draining water!

I went behind TFP's back and tried something, something that has been discussed on this forum before and didn't seem like it was very well received.
My CYA was high because the pool startup guy put way too much conditioner in before I found TFP. Only thing he did right was add plenty of MA in the beginning to get pH down. His "startup" job was complete before I found TFP.
The product is Bio-Active CYA reducer. I am also surprised and unclear how or why, but my CH dropped as well, which is a good thing.
I will say, I tried this because some of the things discussed on this forum about the product lead me to believe I would be okay because of two things
1. Air temp isn't getting above 80 and water temp is around 60-65
2. I feel comfortable recovering if something went wrong after reading and reading, and then reading more on this site.

My CYA was 140 (diluting to the 30ml and doubling results)
on April 27 I turned off my SWG and I let my FC get down to about 1ppm. Water stayed pretty clear - that took about 3 days starting from 4.0

May 1, I added 8oz of Bio-Active - supposedly an all natural CYA reducer and ran my pump for about 8 hours
FC <1
pH 7.8
TA 90
CH 525
CYA 140

May 2, I increased my SWG generation for 4 hours to 100% while my pump ran from 7am to 3pm.
That afternoon:
FC 4.0! ( I turned by SWG down to 20%)
pH 7.8
TA 80
CH 375
CYA 80 (this seems like a drastic drop in 24 hours)

May 3, I added Muriatic Acid and to keep tabs on the productivity of the Bio-Active:
FC 1.5
pH 7.6
TA 80
CH 375
CYA 70

My water looks even more crisp than it did before I started this process and now my numbers are much better. I am going to get readings daily for 7 more days. Bio-Active supposedly stops working after 7-10 days. I am also going to keep close tabs on my FC. The big jump after the first days seems reasonable and I'm assuming the big drop today is because of the product - little nervous about ammonia.

I just wanted to share my results with you all incase anyone else thought about this product but steered clear because of the lack of topics on it. I know it's not over yet but things are looking manageable so far!

Now, I better go order more CYA reagent... haha

May 4 : no change to swg or chemical
FC 3.0
pH 7.6
TA 80
CH 475 (why is it rising again? Still because it's new plaster?)
CYA 60
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New Freeform Build, SoCal 92882

Build in progress since June, posting here to share and document.

18x33 free form
12" raised bond beam
8' spa
2 pumps/400k BTU heater/Intellichlor-Salt
2 sheer descents
4 lights (3 pool/1 spa)
1 fire trough/1 fire pit

3/19/21, signed contract
6/18/21, 13 weeks from signature we break ground with demo
6/30/21, demo/dig/rebar complete
8/12/21, initial plumbing complete
9/14/21, initial pool electric complete
10/6/21, pre gunite inspection
10/14/21, gunite shot
11/12/21, coping pour
12/12/21, tile complete (except for back wrap of spa)

We changed course slightly from the initial mock up design, in pool shape, firepit location, and going tile instead of stone.


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Purple water

Hello all, I recently drained my gunite/plaster pool. I had a white powdery type substance stuck to the surfaces. After some severe scrubbing with a scouring pad, I got about 90% of it off. After some thought, it's possible that it was a lime scale. That however is not thereason for this post. Once I started filling the pool back up, I noticed the water was purple. You can imagine the shock on my face when I was watching this happen before my eyes. The pool water being filled with was city water. It was Saturday afternoon near 5pm, I collected a sample and went to the only pool store open at that time, Leslie's. Long story short, there water testing computer was broke and had no insight as to what it could be. I rolled the dice and bought a bottle of metal out, added to the water and next morning the pool was clear. I still can't understand how brand new water would be turned the color of faboluso. Does anyone have any insight as to what could have been the problem?


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New User - Green Pool & Good Attitude

Hi everyone!

I bought my house 8 years ago, and it has a pool. For a few years my husband was really into it and took great care of it, but as time went on, he has grown more and more bored. He doesn't like being in the sun much and isn't big into swimming so his motivation started to seriously wane. For the last few years, every summer we have issues with algae the pool not being swimmable for weeks at a time.

As for me, I am the type of person who is very smart when it comes to data and numbers, but I trip over my own two feet and I can't even assemble an IKEA bookshelf without tears and swearing. So, even though I've been game to try, my husband has insisted that I should stay away from the pool. So, I was in the position of being the nagging wife who desperately wants a beautiful pool but is stuck being an annoyance to my husband and the embarrassment of the neighborhood.

A few months ago my husband finally agreed that we could hire someone to come take care of the pool for us. I think I called, emailed, or Facebook messaged every pool professional within a 25 mile radius and I couldn't get ANYONE to come out. And during this time, our pool just got greener and murkier.

My husband has finally agreed to let me take over the pool maintenance. (Note that I say "let" -- we are a partnership. What I really mean is that we came to an agreement.) Here is my experience so far:

I bought a Taylor K-2005 test and started testing my water daily. My husband had never done these tests before. He just tested the PH with a digital PH reader and brought the water to Leslie's if we really got out of hand. He was a little annoyed with me for the expenditure, insisting it wasn't necessary. The first thing I found was that our CYA was through the roof. So high that I couldn't get a reading on the test -- just well, well over 100. (Later Leslie's tested it at 135.) I did a ton of reading and came to the conclusion that we needed to drain the pool, at least partially. My husband flipped out and said that he was certain I was wrong, this has never been an issue before, this is why we don't do unnecessary tests... So at his insistence I started working on shocking it instead. I backwashed (first time since last September) and added 4 gallons of liquid shock over the course of two nights. We saw no difference whatsoever. So, I took the pool water sample to Leslie's , dragged the husband along with me to witness, and sure enough, they told me that I need to drain the water out. Of course, the husband believed it coming from the person at Leslie's (who is also a woman - my husband is no misogynist.)

Our pool doesn't have a drain so we had to buy a submersible pump. I'm very paranoid about letting the water level get too low, as we've had trouble with the liner before and had to have it replaced. I'm on about the fourth round of pumping water into the street and then refilling with the hose. So far, no real noticeable difference in the CYA levels, but I'm hoping it's just a matter of time.

My nephew is coming again to spend the weekend the weekend of the 18th, so I am desperately hoping that Aunt Liz can save the day and have that pool ready by then.

Mostly this is just a post to say hello, but of course any advice is welcome!

New Construction Started - Willis, TX (north of Houston)

After a year of due diligence and research we finally broke ground. I'm a bit in arrears but here's the progress over the first 4 days:
Engineering Drawing  -TFP.jpg
5-19-22 Dig Line.jpg
6/2 - Dig Day 1
6-2-22 Dig Day 1.jpg
6/3 - Dig Day 2
6-3-22 Dig Day 2.jpg
6/4 - Steel (#5 for footing/#3 for footing "wrap-arounds), #4 everywhere else. 8" thick gunite for floor, 6" for footing, 12" for walls/bond beam.
6-4-22 Steel.jpg
6/6 - Stub-Outs
6-6-22 Plumbing-Lighting Stubout.jpg
6/7 - Clean out/reshape trenches, floor and walls to ensure proper coverage of gunite.

The Pool Cover, The LEAVES, the WATER, and How To Do It Better Than Last Year: UPDATE

LAST YEAR: Pool cover pump got SOME of the water off the cover... LOTS of leaves all over. Yeah, looked very much like the one shown on the article HERE
This one:771B3FDC-FDDC-41FF-826C-BA51B0F54E7C-1024x768.jpeg

HAS to be a better way... Pool cover pump constantly clogged with leaves. Hmmmm.. .

So I took a plastic bucket with holes in the bottom, from some plant we bought, put a fine and then a coarser screen and jammed them in the bottom. Added the pool cover pump and a brick to sink it all... Added ropes from 2 sides so two people could position it where desired. Looked like this:

Then we positioned it in a likely place. Like this:

Umm. In THEORY the bucket would sink smoothly. In PRACTICE it tipped like this. But it kept the pump clean and pretty much submerged. Turn it on and... 5 hours later it looked like the above picture. A little raking and a little wind and sun and today it's ready to remove SMOOTHLY without a bunch of water and leaves as we try to get it over the end of the pool.

Worked For Me. And I've got that bucket saved for next year.

UPDATE: Removed the cover rolling it towards the end with the bucket/pump. Ended up with some water around the bucket but it emptied in about 1/2 hour. Then it was light and easy to pull last of cover with bucket inside it up over the edge. Nothing from the top of the cover got into the pool.

I had added 2 gals of 6% bleach around the edges yesterday. Today: The pool is CLEAR all the way to the bottom! About 40 leaves to vacuum up. Last year with quite a bit of water and leaves and sediment getting into the pool as we wrestled the cover off one end, it was pretty cloudy to start. This was VERY Worth It!

Filling now, all plugs / filter drain etc. ready to start up pump / filter when water is high enough. Reinstalled filter pressure gauge I removed last year (I had two gauges ruined over winter last 2 or 3 years).

If it wasn't for the pool temperature (44 F) I'd be tempted to dive in.

Regards, Terry King
...In The Woods In Vermont
The one who dies with the most Parts LOSES! WHAT DO YOU NEED??
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Jumped in head first into the deep end with our first pool, thank God I found TFP! (Things I learned about SLAM and Pool Stores)

Quick background:
After purchasing a new home that came with a pool, I knew my knowledge was at a solid zero and that I'd need some major help.
We turned to the company that the home's previous owners used to open/close the pool which informed us they no longer serviced our area. So I did some googling and found a highly rated pool store that also offered 'pool school' & on-site walk throughs so they could teach us about our equipment. The guy came out and showed us what everything was equipment wise and how to do the basics of hooking up the vacuum to start the daunting task of clearing the pool floor of the disgusting layer of decaying leaves and worms from the previous Fall (The pool cover had a tear in it).

First red flags:
So now that the pool was 'opened', and we began asking what to do next , we started taking our water samples in every couple days (super inpatient to start using this thing!) After the initial shock at open, the water began to cloud up and turn a teal green, then a darker more algae like green.
This is when the confusion started. The store would test the water and first guy said we couldn't do anything until we get the metal out ( test showed 0.4 of copper). Sold us a bag of CuLater and we were on our way. A couple days later our next test showed the copper now at 0.6 but they didn't even mention that this time and said we had to get our ph up before anything else as their test showed 7.0. I was confused as my home test showed 7.3 and so did our Intellichem system. We took their word for it and bought some Pak 200 PH increaser. The water was really getting ugly at this point and now we had a bio-film covering the surface. That's when I found TFP!

TFP Awakening:
First two things that hit me like a ton of bricks, #1) trust your own tests and not the pool stores, and #2 never let your FC hit 0.0. We'll our FC had been sitting at 0.0 for weeks and our pool store tests showed that. I just figured they knew best and we shouldn't be adding chlorine until the ph was right and all the metals were out. Now that had my trusty TF-Pro test kit (and confirmed my methods with the standard solutions), I was able to confirm their tests were wildly different compared to the TF-Pros, and confirming my PH was indeed 7.3 from several different methods (Strips, Intellichem, TF-Pro & finally a digital meter I purchased separately) I began my SLAM.

My First SLAM:
For anyone doing their first SLAM, the 3 things I'd stress are...
1) Test Often
2) Be Thorough (When brushing, don't forget those ladders, skimmer housings & light niches!)
3) Be Patient
#2 was probably the thing that caused my SLAM to last 3 weeks. The water was clear for a week but I kept failing the OCLT. The pool had been scrubbed top to bottom and I was at my wits end, until TFP came to the rescue again and I found some articles on never-ending SLAMs and how they had some nasties hiding in light niches. Well at night I found that my lights looked like they were 'vaping' into the water (video clips below) and that pretty much confirmed I would have to brave the 60 degree water and pull them out. 3 in the pool & 1 in the attached spa.

Video of my LED light puffing little vape clouds (Change quality to 4k to see the vape puffs) New video by Matthew Malkowski
Video of me taking the light out to clean (Gross!) New video by Matthew Malkowski

Happy Ending!
So after cleaning out my lights, I lost pretty much 0 FC on my next OCLT the night after. I'm now sitting at numbers I'm very happy with (other than TA but I'm OCD) and we've began enjoying the pool every chance we get! The water is CRYSTAL clear (switched from sand to glass fill and it seemed to get my night clarity where I wanted it) I still get my chemicals from the local pool store as I prefer to support local small businesses, but I'll leave the testing up to myself.

Thanks to this website and the whole community on here. I look forward to sharing my pool experiences and questions with you all :)

FC: 5.5
pH: 7.4
TA: 100
CH: 350
CYA: 70
SALT: 3400

Need intelliflo and Jandy aquapure 1400 folks

Hey all. Our friend needs some help.
does it seem strange that I would still get flow on the swg at the lowest setting my VSP goes (450). Also, any idea why at 450 the VSP says it uses 135 WT energy but on 38 WT and 39 WT at 550 and 650? Thanks!!!!!

So we have a possible malfunctioning flow switch to activate so low. At least, unless her pool has stupid flow at 450 RPMs with the 3HP intelliflow.

At first I was thinking the LCD screen had an issue and wasn't showing the '1' of 1450 RPMs, which would align with the 135 Watts displayed at supposedly 450 RPMs. 550 and 650 RPMs draw the appropriate wattages.

When she ramps the RPMs up and down by the hundred with the arrows, the motor volume behaves as expected, all the way down to 450 RPMs which draws more watts and still keeps the SWG on.

We polled 100 people and the Top 5 answers are on the Board.

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Just received my new tft test kit, help

Hello, I order and just received my TFT test kit per recommendations from here. I'm excited to get this handled but a little confused. I've read all the instructions and searched the forums. My questions is, where is the line I fill the cell to? I know this is a silly question but I have not found anything that references that. On my instruction sheet it indicates "fill both side up to the think black". Looks like it may have cut off the wording.
This is the first time I've ever used a kit like this and trying to be as accurate as can be.

Also, I ordered the smart stir and no instructions for that at all. Please help this green newbie girl out!
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