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Thread: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

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    need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    Edited for eye breaks. Butterfly

    Hello everyone! I have been learning from this site for about a week now but have run into a minor problem. I bought the honey island swamp, ( or at least something that looked like it ) we later discovered it was a 20,000 gal. gunite/plaster pool.

    It was only 1/4 full and full of leaves and forest debris. water color was black and I believe septic from the odor.

    We emptied the water and removed the debris and after washed down the walls and bottom. The condition of the pool was very good no stains and the paint is in great shape no cracks anywhere and the pump filter etc. all in serviceable condition. Had the local pool supply change the sand in the filter and picked up some chemicals to shock it.

    Fast forward 3 days. water looks ok except for a cloudy light green color in the deepest part of the pool ( 10 feet depth ) and today I noticed sand in the bottom that may have gotten washed in from the 2 days of rain we have had here. and now for the numbers .

    Free chlorine 5.0 ppm
    total chlorine 5.0ppm
    combined chlorine 0.0 ppm
    ph 7.5
    hardness 50 ppm
    alkalinity 180ppm
    cyanuric acid 10 ppm
    copper 0.03
    iron 0.12
    total dissolved solids were not tested

    Now then, when I left the pool today and after these readings were done , added clarifier in the morning followed by 1 gal. muratic acid 8 hours later. I have stabalizer ready but want to remove any dead algae and backflush the filter real good before I do that since it will take several days to disolve ( 4 lbs. )

    Also I know the clorine is high thats from shocking and I am trying to maintain that level through the rain thats forcast to end tommorow. turned the inline chlorinator to 5 just untill I am certian that everything is oxidized and safe to bring it to 3.0 ppm or so. I dont have a temp. on the water but its 40 ish degrees today and overcast the whole day.

    Will get the pump and filter info when the rain stops. I know its a 3/4 hp pump with another pump to run in tandom to drive the polaris and it has a sand type filter. I have given some thought to adding de to the unit to improve the filtering , I have already reviewed the recent posts on this issue so I am aware of the proccedure and the potential problems.

    one last thing I do not have a vacume or hose just the polaris which is off atm to let the clarifier settle things. plan to go tommorow and buy one any advice on brand/ model would be appreciated.


    calcium hyperchlorite 3" tabs being used atm and the same in granular form was used to shock the pool .


    Hope all that made sense, and that some of you could help me clear the pool and get it balanced. thanks .
    coloeb,
    20k gal. IG fiberglass/plaster rectangle 32'x16'
    Hayward Superpump 3/4 H.P. primary Hayward model 5060 Booster Pump
    Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter
    Pentair Model 320 automatic Chlorine/bromine in-line feeder

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    Welcome to TFP!

    I wonder how accurate your CYA number is. None of the CYA tests are particularly accurate at levels around 10. If you recently filled the pool and have been using cal-hypo exclusively, the CYA level would tend to be zero. On the other hand if you have been using trichlor tablets in a puck feeder then a level around 10 makes a lot more sense. In this particular case, the difference between 10 and zero is a huge difference.

    Assuming your CYA level really is 10, the FC shock level is 10. So your FC level is too low to really be shocking the pool. With CYA at 10, you will still be losing a significant amount of chlorine to sunlight each day, so it will tend to be difficult to maintain an appropriate FC level. Raising the CYA level up into the 30 to 50 range is rather more important right now than anything to do with the clarifier.

    Another thing to keep in mind is proper water circulation. Since your deep end appears to be much deeper then average, it is especially important that you maintain good water circulation in the deep end. This is typically done with a main drain. If you don't have a main drain, or your main drain is turned off or broken, the circulation in the deep end would tend to be fairly bad, which can easily cause algae to start in the deep end, despite appropriate FC levels in the water nearer the surface.

    Clarifier is probably a waste of time and money in this situation. Let the filter deal with the dead algae.

    Where are you getting your water test results? Those sound like pool store results. Pool stores can be way off sometimes. By far the best thing you can do is get your own high quality test kit. I recommend a kit from TF Test Kits, see the link in my signature. The Taylor K-2006 is also good. A good test kit will save you money in the long run by giving more accurate results with less effort.

    On an unrelated note, your CH level (hardness) is way too low for a plaster pool. Your TA level is also rather high, though that isn't as important in the short run.

    Why did you add a gallon of muriatic acid? With your low CH level that could be dangerous for the plaster and the pool heater (if you have one). It is important that you never let the PH go below 7.0, especially when the CH level is low, and I am fairly sure that one gallon of muriatic acid will have brought the PH well below 7.0.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    Edited for eye breaks. Butterfly

    yes the readings were taken at the pool store, they told me to add the acid to reduce alkalinity . they also sold me a test kit that uses strips , assured me these were more reliable than I have heard. tried one then called the pool store and fired them.

    I have had as many as 3 different opinions on what I should do at any given time with one being the owner of the pool store and 2 from the testers. none of these actually match the computer generated recomendation that was derived from the input of the test results. ( yes that was my first clue but I know next to nothing about a pool untill I looked at this site.)

    I was told not to mess with the stabalizer untill the clarifier was done , due to the filter needing to be backflushed prior to adding the stabalizer since I would be filtering for 4 days or so to disolve it.

    there was a recomendation to add calcium chloride flakes 43lbs 12 oz. but to wait on the rain to stop as this would interfer with that proccess.

    unsure of the acuracy of the cya it was tested at the store they recomended 5.0 fc at the first test and the test today they said everything was good on the fc.

    on water circulation the main drain is turned on and working earlier today I turned off the skimmer and the polaris to increase suction at that end. pressure at the filter is 10psi and thats clean filter readings.

    no pool heater installed will correct ph in the morning if below 7.2
    coloeb,
    20k gal. IG fiberglass/plaster rectangle 32'x16'
    Hayward Superpump 3/4 H.P. primary Hayward model 5060 Booster Pump
    Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter
    Pentair Model 320 automatic Chlorine/bromine in-line feeder

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    p.s. regal brand calcium hypochlorite 3" tabs used in chlorinator 24/7 since we began opening pool
    regal brand calcium hypochlorite granules used for shock . only thing I have used since pool completly drained , 3 days ago.
    coloeb,
    20k gal. IG fiberglass/plaster rectangle 32'x16'
    Hayward Superpump 3/4 H.P. primary Hayward model 5060 Booster Pump
    Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter
    Pentair Model 320 automatic Chlorine/bromine in-line feeder

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    Sadly, pool stores are amazingly unreliable when it comes to giving advice. There are a few that are quite good, but that is surprisingly rare. The final step in firing the pool store is to get your own test kit.

    If your CYA level is really zero, and it would be if you replaced all your water recently and have been using cal-hypo exclusively, then shocking with FC at 5 is fine. Cal-hypo tablets are rare, most tablets are trichlor. Also, most tablet feeders are designed for trichlor use, very few will work correctly with cal-hypo. Still, if the packaging is labeled cal-hypo then they presumably are cal-hypo. Keep in mind that with CYA at zero you will lose all of your chlorine to sunlight each day, giving algae a window of opportunity to get started in the afternoon.

    The appropriate FC level depends on your CYA level, see this chart. The chart doesn't list CYA levels below 20 because they are almost impossible to test reliably. When CYA really and truly at zero then shock level is 5, but as soon as CYA is above zero shock level is 10. The relationship between CYA and FC has been known for about 30 years, but very few people in the pool industry have bothered to update their procedures based on that knowledge.

    The procedure for lowering TA is explained in the linked article. It does involve adding acid, but not all at once. Lowering TA is a good idea, it just isn't important compared to the other things that are going on.

    If the clarifier mattered, then the sequence they gave you would be important. But, the clarifier is worthless until you have killed all of the algae for sure, which isn't likely to happen until the CYA level is right. They are correct that after adding CYA you don't want to backwash/clean the filter for several days to a week.

    You should go ahead and start adding calcium, but don't add it all at once. When calcium is getting close to the recommended levels you need to be careful with what happens on the same day you are adding the calcium. But with calcium levels as low as yours are you can go ahead and add calcium without problems. I would add perhaps 100 ppm of calcium soon and then wait till everything else is resolved before adding the rest. Also, keep in mind that the cal-hypo you are using also adds calcium. For now that is a good thing, but long term it could cause your CH level to get too high. This is another reason not to raise your CH level up all the way right now.

    On the PH, if the PH is 6.8 or lower, raise it up to 6.9 or so right away. Then see if you can arrange for some aeration (fountain, waterfall, return pointed up so the jet breaks the surface, air compressor, kids splashing, etc). The aeration will raise the PH the rest of the way and help you with lowering your TA level.
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    Welcome! You've definetly found the right place!
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Why did you add a gallon of muriatic acid?
    That was my first thought too. I went on to think, clarifier? Is he being pool stored? Strips? Reliable? yup,...definetly pool stored.

    Jason gave you great advice and your finding this site and the free advice of the experts here will put you a step ahead. Sounds like you are getting a handle on things, and if you follow the steps Jason gave you things should start to turn around.

    I would also advise you to get your own test kit, like the Taylor K-2006 or the TF-100. Best investment in my pool I ever made and I rarely, maybe once a year, have to go to the pool store for anything.

    I did want to add, you can add your stabilizer with the "sock method"....poor some in a sock and tie it off near the return, on the ladder or figure out a way to attach it, near the return is good to get the flow of water to help dissolve the granules. This way you can go ahead and backwash and not worry about losing as much CYA as you would if you put it right in your skimmer.

    So again, welcome and we're here to help!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    tf 100 ordered last night right after I read the first response to my post .
    coloeb,
    20k gal. IG fiberglass/plaster rectangle 32'x16'
    Hayward Superpump 3/4 H.P. primary Hayward model 5060 Booster Pump
    Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter
    Pentair Model 320 automatic Chlorine/bromine in-line feeder

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Guest

    Re: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    The only good thing I can tell you about the pool store is that they did NOT have you follow the computer printout. Those are designed to sell chemicals! (I know because we use them where I work!)
    Get yourself a good test kit pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison then post your test results. We wiil get you into shape. Don't waste money on clarifer, you don't really need it.

    From the battery of tests that were done I suspect that your pool store is using a LaMotte Waterlink Express for testing. It's a good system but has a few drawbacks. One is that a level of 0 ppm CYA will test as 10 ppm. This is a limitation in the meter used. They are probably also using the LaMotte Datamate software. This is actually one of the better ones but it's a bit 'brain dead' in some areas like adjusting the TA for the type of chlorine source used. I know a bit about this system since I have been certified by LaMotte in it's proper use.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    Edited for eye breaks. Butterfly

    update for today.

    drove out to pool found the clarifier worked well things were clear seemed to be alot of sand on the bottom vacumed and backflushed sand filter. Added stabalizer to skimmer, running pump 24/7 untill disolved. Still waiting on test kit to arrive so no numbers that can be relied upon right now.

    Some important developments that may set off some alarms with you guys. Today I noticed water seeping through the seam between the pool deck ( cement with pebbles ) and the edge of the pool , just above a water return eye. Master plumber friend looked at it and thinks the pipe is cracked or broken. We will cut a square hole in the concrete deck back about 1 foot from the edge of the pool and attempt to repair, backfill, and mortar the square back together.

    also found that tri-chlor was used to fill the chlorinator from a container next to the pump. so that explains the mysterious cya reading posted earlier. plan to monitor cya and change over when it gets in range.

    Last thing is my pool is gunite/ fiberglass and not plaster as reported earlier. having the swamp gone now at least to the extent that I can see clearly now has made this possible.
    coloeb,
    20k gal. IG fiberglass/plaster rectangle 32'x16'
    Hayward Superpump 3/4 H.P. primary Hayward model 5060 Booster Pump
    Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter
    Pentair Model 320 automatic Chlorine/bromine in-line feeder

  10. Back To Top    #10
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    Sorry to hear about your leak. Everything else you mentioned sounds good. Hopefully you will be able to get the leak fixed quickly and move on.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Guest

    Re: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by coloeb
    Last thing is my pool is gunite/ fiberglass and not plaster as reported earlier. having the swamp gone now at least to the extent that I can see clearly now has made this possible.
    If you mean you have fiberglass panel sides then you also probably have a plaster bottom since that is how those pools were built. Still need to treat it as a plaster pool. Gunite is not water proof and the bottoms of these type of pools were plastered. If you have an all fiberglass molded one piece shell then you have a fiberglass pool. These pools are not made with gunite.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: need help on clearing and setting up pool.

    not really sure if bottom is fiberglass or not . I saw a rivited seam ( just 2 rivots ) near the steps ,on the side wall . knocked on it and it sounded , appeared to be fiberglass. no evidence of any other seams in the whole pool.

    We broke up concrete and found our leak , made repairs and back filled with the dirt. Then the rain came so we have to wait untill it clears before patching the pebble tone finish.

    Still waiting on the test kit so no update on the readings. They would be skewed anyway because we had to drain water to fix the leak. Chlorinator still set to max in an attempt to ward of any algae formation. topping off water now so readings will be low in the morning. Filter is running through the night. My cya readings will likely be lower than I want , but better than they were will need to test to tell for sure.
    coloeb,
    20k gal. IG fiberglass/plaster rectangle 32'x16'
    Hayward Superpump 3/4 H.P. primary Hayward model 5060 Booster Pump
    Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter
    Pentair Model 320 automatic Chlorine/bromine in-line feeder

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