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Thread: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

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    kjdiver's Avatar
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    Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    We bought our house in Oct 2008 and have been trying to figure out what I need to do! After checking out the posts here I immediately bought the TF test kit and received it yesterday.

    My pool was winterized in November and has a mesh loop loc cover on it. I went ahead and tested the water and my results are:

    FC =1
    CC=.5
    TC-1.5
    CH=300
    CYA=50
    TA=20
    PH=6.8

    Should I start adjusting the levels now with no circulation and the cover on...or just wait until I open the pool. Any tips are greatly appreciated! Can't wait for the freaking winter to be over.
    Learning since 10/01/2008 --> 32,000 gallon free form, Unknown old 1 hp pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Raypak Heater

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    Welcome to TFP!

    Normally I would say to leave it alone until the water temperature gets above 50 degrees. However, your PH and TA are both very low, which puts the plaster at risk. I am assuming you have a gunite and plaster (or pebble) pool. If you don't have plaster then you can leave it as it. If you do have plaster, you should probably add either some baking soda or soda ash (PH Up), either of which will bring up both the TA and the PH. When you do that you will need to create at least some minimal amount of circulation to get the chemical mixed in. If you have a cover pump or sump pump that would be enough, you could also fold back a corner of the cover and mix manually with a paddle or pool brush.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    Almost a "ditto" post to Jason's but, yes, you need to get your pH up in a safer range......sooner rather than later.

    I suspect (and I think Jason does as well) that your pH is actually below 6.8 so it may take a little more than you think to get it up in the 7.'s

    Your other numbers are decent and don't present any problem but the pH is very important to get fixed right away.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    Do you think that your sample is representative of the ENTIRE pool, or just the top layer where I assume you drew your sample from? The Ph on top may be from acid rain (and snow.)
    22 x 40 IG vinyl lined, 23,570 gal.
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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    I would just like to say Welcome to TFP!

    Your first post, and you are already a 'lifer' and bought a TF Test kit...

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    kjdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    Hi everyone and thanks for your quick responses!

    JasonLion and duraleigh, yes it is gunite and plaster. Definately don't want to put the plaster at risk (as it probably has been for the last 20 years...I'll save that question for later) and will work on raising the PH and TA tomorrow. I've been reading the pool school and just a little confused on my best course of action. How much baking soda or soda ash would you recommend? (I'm still trying to figure out the pool calulator). Maybe 50 oz. of soda ash and/or 574 oz of baking baking soda?

    Now my really rookie questions...what is soda ash (is the Ph up a pool store item) and do I really need 35 boxes of arm and hammer? If you can give me a few more clues as what to get and from where I'd appreciate it. I have a pool store, walmart, kmart, and grocery store within 2 miles. Oh yeah, I have a flotec pump that could help circulate some water plus I could disolve stuff in a few 5 gallon buckets before putting in the pool. Depending on what I need to put in the pool, how many hours would you recommend to run the flotec?

    New2Me, I reached my arm down about a foot but will figure out a way to get my sample from deeper water tomorrow, good idea to think about. A little duck tape, empty water bottle, and my pool brush perhaps.

    The Mermaid Queen, Thanks....not a whole lot I can contribute to the site but I can at least support it!

    Hope I haven't worn out my welcome with all my question in my second post...I'm a DIYer to a fault and have really been stratching my head about the pool! This site has taught me the most thus far and appreciate the specific help to my questions.
    Learning since 10/01/2008 --> 32,000 gallon free form, Unknown old 1 hp pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Raypak Heater

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    Soda ash is available under several names. In the grocery store you can find it as Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not the laundry soap/detergent), pool stores call it various things: PH Up, PH Increaser, and Soda Ash.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the PH reading is probably wrong, the actual PH is probably lower. The usual PH test will read 6.8 even when the actual PH is lower than 6.8. There is also a question of how confident you are of your test results. Given the fairly large volumes involved, it is worth doing the test twice, if you haven't already, and being sure you are getting consistent results.

    Given the small pump to move the water around, I would start with 20 lbs of baking soda, mix it in as best you can, pre-dissolving is great, circulate for several hours, and then re-test and see where you are. Baking soda comes in 4 lb boxes, which is handy if you can find a store that carries that size. Once the TA is at least 60, switch to soda ash and raise the PH to at least 7.4. Depending on where you end up you may need some additional small adjustments from there, but that will take away most of the risk to the plaster.

    Taking things in steps is a little more work, but it will avoid overshooting and needing to correct the other direction. PH changes also change the TA a little, and TA changes also change the PH a little, so things can get a little confusing and it is easy to end up adding too much. Therefore, it is best to go part way, test the water, then take another step, and repeat as needed.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    Cool! Can't get this kind of info anywhere else! When I first went to the pool store on day #2 of pool ownership they said my Clorine was fine and to shock my pool in a week. To be fair they knew the pool was closing soon...as they were the ones who did it.

    Let me know if I am outta whack here. My plan tomorrow is to do another full test of everything with deeper water.

    If results are similar to my earlier posted I will buy 30/40 lbs of baking soda with my first stop at walmart (can't hurt to have some on hand for later in the day). Second, disolve 20 lbs in 2 or 3 five gallon buckets of pool water. Third, pour into pool and run small pump for a few hours. Check PH and TA (should I check anything else)?

    Repeat with 10 lbs, check readings and then go to store as required for more baking soda. Will stop when PH is at least 7.2.

    Wish my wife did the grocery shopping so I could just add 40 pounds of baking soda on the list

    THANKS!
    Learning since 10/01/2008 --> 32,000 gallon free form, Unknown old 1 hp pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Raypak Heater

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    Quote Originally Posted by kjdiver
    Cool! Can't get this kind of info anywhere else! When I first went to the pool store on day #2 of pool ownership they said my Clorine was fine and to shock my pool in a week. To be fair they knew the pool was closing soon...as they were the ones who did it.

    Let me know if I am outta whack here. My plan tomorrow is to do another full test of everything with deeper water.

    If results are similar to my earlier posted I will buy 30/40 lbs of baking soda with my first stop at walmart (can't hurt to have some on hand for later in the day). Second, disolve 20 lbs in 2 or 3 five gallon buckets of pool water. Third, pour into pool and run small pump for a few hours. Check PH and TA (should I check anything else)?

    Repeat with 10 lbs, check readings and then go to store as required for more baking soda. Will stop when PH is at least 7.2.

    Instead of PLANNING to do this again with 10#, test your water after the 20# and THEN decide if you need the 10#. In all probability, you will, given your numbers. But, you may only need 5, or you may need another 20. Use the few hours of pump-time to familiarize yourself with Jason's pool calculator!!

    Wish my wife did the grocery shopping so I could just add 40 pounds of baking soda on the list

    THANKS!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    kjdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    31 lbs of baking soda via several batches and a day later here are my latest test results:

    FC =1.5
    CC=0
    TC-1.5
    CH=300
    CYA=40
    TA=40
    PH=7.2

    Here is where I started:

    FC =1
    CC=.5
    TC-1.5
    CH=300
    CYA=50
    TA=20
    PH=6.8

    I just mixed another 6 lbs and put into the pool. Where do you think I should stop? Do you think my PH will get too high before I can get the TA up? Thanks!
    Learning since 10/01/2008 --> 32,000 gallon free form, Unknown old 1 hp pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Raypak Heater

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    Something is wrong with this picture. Adding that much baking soda should have had more effect on your TA level. You ought to be seeing TA increases of 60 to 80. Most likely the baking soda isn't mixing into the entire pool volume, which could be throwing off the test results. Another possibility is that there is something going wrong with your TA testing, though that seems less likely.

    I suggest running the small pump to circulate as best you can overnight and see if anything has changed in the morning.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    The last test I ran was from the opposite side of the pool from where I've been putting in the baking soda mix. Just retested the TA from the deep end of the pool where I was putting in the baking soda and moving the water. PH is still around 7.2 and the TA is now reading at 60. Will just keep moving for a few more hours and then recheck in the morning. Thanks for all your help!
    Learning since 10/01/2008 --> 32,000 gallon free form, Unknown old 1 hp pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Raypak Heater

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    kj,

    The problem you are having with somewhat erratic test results is the pump. It is difficult to get even distribution without the main pump.

    It sounds like you are up in a safe range and I would suggest you make very few changes until you open your pool and get your main pump running........perhaps even open just a little early as Spring is surely only a few weeks away......(wishful, but positive thinking )
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    Thanks for that last bit of info. Out of the country for a few weeks and didn't want to worry about my pool further deteriorating. Now I just need to figure out the best time to start opening the pool.

    Jason, I’m not too far from you…when do you open your pool? As I look out the window at my pool cover with a dusting of snow......
    Learning since 10/01/2008 --> 32,000 gallon free form, Unknown old 1 hp pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Raypak Heater

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    We open in mid to late March and are generally swimming by mid April. But I should warn you that we are willing to spend quite a bit of money running the pool heater in April and May. Without the heater we would probably open in early May and hope to be swimming by June.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    kjdiver, just to add. to get a sample without getting my arm wet, I use a 4' piece of 3/4" pvc, hold my hand over the top, trapping the air, and sinking the pipe to the desired depth. Release my hand and the pipe fills with water. Put my hand back on and dump the water into a cup that is on the floor.
    Gary
    21k gal SW, IG Gunite PebbleSheen, 1HP Jandy, Jandy 340 filter, Polaris 280, 17' fiberglass slide w/ 2HP pump.

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    Hi and greetings from Italy! Crabboy, that is a great tip and one I am sure going to leverage in the future. thanks for sharing!
    Learning since 10/01/2008 --> 32,000 gallon free form, Unknown old 1 hp pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Raypak Heater

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    kjdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    A quick question as I am still learning. I've opened the pool for my first time a few weeks ago and things seem to be OK and the water is pretty clear. I need to get into a better routine for the chlorine. Here are my readings and it looks like all that baking soda did raise the TA afterall.

    PH 7.8
    FC 1.5
    CC 0.5
    CH 250
    CYA 50
    TA 140
    Temp 70

    I was planning on shocking the pool starting tonight but wanted to get opinions on the high TA. Do you think I need to address that issue or just let it be for a while since my CSI is 0.29? Should I shock my pool or just make sure my FC stays between 4 and 8?

    Thanks for all the great information I've found on this board!
    Learning since 10/01/2008 --> 32,000 gallon free form, Unknown old 1 hp pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Raypak Heater

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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    If your water is sparkling clear, your numbers do not indicate the need to shock......just bring up the FC like you asaid.

    If you are concerned about TA being a little high (It's really not too bad), put in enough muriatic to lower and then keep your pH around 7.4 and your TA will come down with it.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: Pool is winterized and I just tested the water

    Thanks for the super quick reply! I'll put 5 lbs of the PH Down I bought and a little more than a gallon of the 10% bleach. Sure glad I found this website!
    Learning since 10/01/2008 --> 32,000 gallon free form, Unknown old 1 hp pump, Pentair Sand Filter, Raypak Heater

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