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Thread: New to the School

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    New to the School

    Hello everyone. I have been reading the forums since Aug 08 and I am a little confused about how to best maintain our pool.
    I grew up with above and in ground pools and can only remember using Chlorine sticks and shock. I don't recall any problems although we never tested for CYA. We had an above ground pool installed at the end of the summer last year and we are getting ready to open it for the first time. We live in Chicago so I added my winter chemicals, ran pump for 24hrs then drained to below skimmer and covered it. The pool came with an inline Chlorination/N2 unit. It seems from reading this forum that I should not use the N2 or stabilized pucks to prevent metal build up. If I do use this system and drain some at the end of each season would that keep the CYA in check? I am looking for the easiest way to maintain our water so if it costs a little more that is ok.
    15' x 30' 12,000 Gal above ground vinyl liner
    Hayward Pump/ Cartridge filter
    Plainfield, Illinois

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Hi and Welcome.

    How bout some BBB! Bleach, Borax and Baking Soda.

    That's all I use along with Stabilizer and Conditioner for the CYA. I just opened to a crystal clear pool about a week or so ago. You can check it out here:
    dh-took-the-cover-off-more-pics-t10885.html

    I spend way less than what I would have to at a Pool Store. I buy all my BBB at WalMart. If I'm not mistaken, I believe the N2 is a mineral system that does not sanitize the pool adequately? Someone correct me if I'm wrong... and CYA build up basically makes chlorine ineffective unless you add more to work effeciantly with the CYA.

    A good target range is 30-50 if you're not using a SWG. For those who do have SWG, the reccommendation is a higher level being between 60-80 of CYA.

    Have you read up on our Pool School? It can answer a lot of your questions.
    pool-school/

    Welcome to TFP! Also if you haven't gotten yourself a great test kit I suggest the TF100! You are going to need good test results for answers if you run into any problems when you open the pool. We can't do anything with out them.

    Our one and only Duraleigh sellf them here: http://www.tftestkits.com/
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    I would not recommend the N2 at all.

    If you prefer to use a stabilized chlorine like sticks or pucks, I won't tell you it doesn't work, because you can make it work for you. If you don't mind the cost....an inline chlorinator that just uses pucks as opposed to mineral combo like N2, you can swap it out of your plumbing line rather simply. Or just take the N2 canister out and toss it, and use a floater with pucks instead. Pucks are more expensive a route to chlorinate than generic bleach or Clorox, but as you said you don't mind paying more.

    A few key things. You MUST have a good test kit like the TF100 and monitor your water routinely, because the CYA can get too high which requires a higher level of FC. Pucks are acidic, which means your PH will run low. If you keep your TA above 120 that should help buffer it somewhat but you'll still need to boost the PH from time to time. Doing a partial drain each winter will help keep the CYA in check, also if you have a sand filter that helps keep the CYA in check too because of water lost to backwashing...

    So if that's the method you think you would prefer and don't mind the added expense, then why not. I'll tell you my pool is much less work for me now that I switched to BBB 2 years ago. When I had a mineral system/puck combo (Pool Frog) my pool caused me nothing but trouble and frustration, and money. It's BBB and TFP for me!

    Good luck, hope this helped. IF you have any questions, just post em here and we'll try 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

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Seriously...I got my pool last spring...didn't know squat about taking care of it...Came here learned everything I need to know about taking care of my pool. And if I have questions the people here are great at answering...

    All I ever did was balance my water...ph was never out of the 7.4 to 7.6 range...Checked Calcium hardness and Total alk...about once a week, and CYA maybe 3 to 4 times per summer. I used HTH 10 liquid Chlorine last summer from ACE Hardware which I found at about $3.48 a gallon...This year it is about 7.99 Gallon so I will probably switch to Straight 6% bleach this year. Once per week...usually on Sunday night I put in a 1 lb package of granulilze Cal Hypo pool shock...but remember shock is not something you buy it is something you do to your pool. I used the stuff from my local pool store $15 would buy me enough Cal Hypo for a month and a half or so. The only time I used pucks was while I was on vacation, and I used it in a cheap floater and the lid broke off and a puck fell to the bottom of the pool...bleached the liner in a small area. This is the hazzard with pucks...if you get them in the pool like that they can damage your liner...if you floater gets stuck next to the side of the pool for days like by the ladder, it can bleach the side of the liner...I keep this from happening by putting a pool noodle, in behind the ladder and then round it over and then under the top of the ladder. This creates a bumper which then pushes it out in to the middle of the pool and keeps it circulating. Other than That...BBB really does work!!!
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Cubby, why do you add the cal hypo once a week? The way you wrote it, it almost sounds like you do it as part of a regimen.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    Cubby, why do you add the cal hypo once a week? The way you wrote it, it almost sounds like you do it as part of a regimen.
    Because he won't listen to me.... :P
    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

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    Re: New to the School

    Welcome to TFP!!

    I like Ann's (frustratedpoolmom) response It's your pool and you can do whatever you want!! You can go the tab route, it certainly is easy and as long as it doesn't cause you any problems (like repeated algae blooms or the issues cubby mentioned), that's great

    If you do end up with problems with high cya all you have to do is drain some water and switch to BBB (in fact, you can still use the other 2 B's with pucks - you're just switching the bleach for the pucks as your sanitizer). If it ain't broke...



    re. cubby using cal-hypo weekly -- perhaps he knows his pool well enough to warrant it I realize that most folks here have some degree of 'pooliosis' and love to play with their test kits. Maybe he knows that at the end of every week he'll need to shock (doesn't everyone up the FC after a big party with lots of people sweating, excreting, blowing their noses (for Tim 8) ), etc.?) If I knew I'd have 1 ppm cc every Sunday night when I tested, I'd just go ahead and shock as a matter of course. He may also know that his CH will fall off a little each week due to rain, backwashing, splashout so uses the cal-hypo to 'kill 2 birds with 1 stone'.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Quote Originally Posted by waste

    re. cubby using cal-hypo weekly -- perhaps he knows his pool well enough to warrant it

    Nah, he's just guessing...

    I realize that most folks here have some degree of 'pooliosis' ....
    Ted, I keep telling you it's "Sparklypoolitis" not 'pooliosis'....

    (BTW, in case anyone is concerned about my rippin on Beave, we've been friends since '89, so he's used to it.... )
    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

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Maybe he knows that at the end of every week he'll need to shock (doesn't everyone up the FC after a big party with lots of people sweating, excreting, blowing their noses (for Tim 8) ), etc.?)
    NO SPITTING OR BLOWING NOSE IN THE POOL

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    Re: New to the School

    Thanks for the replies. I'm leaning toward BBB. I just don't know if I will be able to test the water every day. How much leeway is there with the BBB method? 1 day? 3? I could definitely check it 3 times per week but what if I checked it only on weekends? (I wouldn't but just for argument) On a side note, I was at S@M's club today and bought a 3 pack of regular bleach for 7.96. Does this seem reasonable for Chicago area? Hey, I may be on my way to the BBB method after all!
    15' x 30' 12,000 Gal above ground vinyl liner
    Hayward Pump/ Cartridge filter
    Plainfield, Illinois

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    Guest

    Re: New to the School

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom

    (BTW, in case anyone is concerned about my rippin on Beave, we've been friends since '89, so he's used to it.... )
    You have friends?

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    Guest

    Re: New to the School

    Quote Originally Posted by spishex

    NO SPITTING OR BLOWING NOSE IN THE POOL
    Yeah! Save that kind of disgusting behavior for the hot tub!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Quote Originally Posted by ualpow
    Thanks for the replies. I'm leaning toward BBB. I just don't know if I will be able to test the water every day. How much leeway is there with the BBB method? 1 day? 3? I could definitely check it 3 times per week but what if I checked it only on weekends? (I wouldn't but just for argument) On a side note, I was at S@M's club today and bought a 3 pack of regular bleach for 7.96. Does this seem reasonable for Chicago area? Hey, I may be on my way to the BBB method after all!
    That prices is average I suppose for Clorox brand, if its the 3qt jug, but you can get a "biggie" jug of store brand Walmart for $2.54. You have to shop around and see jug sizes/concentrations to determine whose got the best price.

    Here's how I do my BBB routine - look at the CYA chart - you have a minimum and a target goal, according to your CYA level. I add enough bleach on say Tuesday to reach the higher target. I skip Wednesday, don't bother to test, unless I had a pool party or something. Then I'll usually test Thursday evening before sundown and I'll test PH and FC. Then I'll add enough bleach to bring it back up to target. So I'm kind of an every other day gal.

    I can usually get by with this without dropping below the minimum FC level. I keep my solar cover on whenever the pool is not in use. For me it keeps it cleaner and cuts down on FC loss to sunlight. If it's going to be hot I or have a lot of swimmers, I'll test daily to see what my pool's chlorine demand is, and adjust to more frequent testing/dosing if necessary....you have to "get to know" your pool's demand, etc. every pool is unique....at least it seems that way, on some things. There can be lots of variables, you have to try it and see what works for you.

    Once a week, I'll test TA. Once a month I'll test CYA, more often if I'm making adjustments or if we've had alot of rain which could lower the CYA (through dilution/splashout). Once a season, I'll test CH because I already know what it is and with my vinyl pool it's not an issue for me right now. My PH level is more important to me, and FC.

    Now other people will test differently, but this works for me. It's literally 5-10 minutes for testing and chemical additions.

    Hope this helps....
    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

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    You have friends?



    Just two....
    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

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    Cubby, why do you add the cal hypo once a week? The way you wrote it, it almost sounds like you do it as part of a regimen.
    Because he won't listen to me.... :P
    That is not True Ann...I listen to everything you say...It is just sometimes...THE LOGIC gets in the way...No Really Ann gives me the best advice...and I take it all to heart...I just found that the CAL HYPO on Sunday sort of prepares the pool for the week. We have heavy use on the weekends...I am in it all weekend long, and the kids have friends in it all weekend...The Hypo just keeps me from having add a whole Gallon or more on Sunday...It was my first year with the pool and I really just wanted to make sure that after a heavy weekend of swimming and the direct sunlight that my pool gets all day long that it was in good shape for monday morning when I am not there to make sure the pool has been properly sanitized. I then through the week go ahead and add my bleach or liquid Chlorine per the pool calculator numbers, and everything...It is just a little extra that I did because of the heavy swiming...We use the pool every day, and many days there could be as many as 10 swimmers in the poo. And as for ANN...I DO LISTEN REALLY I DO!
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Quote Originally Posted by waste

    re. cubby using cal-hypo weekly -- perhaps he knows his pool well enough to warrant it

    Nah, he's just guessing...

    I realize that most folks here have some degree of 'pooliosis' ....
    Ted, I keep telling you it's "Sparklypoolitis" not 'pooliosis'....

    (BTW, in case anyone is concerned about my rippin on Beave, we've been friends since '89, so he's used to it.... )
    Holy **** Batman...has it been that long??? But yeah...as I said...I defer to Ann on most everything when it comes to the pool...She is a great teacher!!! And I definitely have a huge case of Sparklypoolitis...In the worst way...But my wife and kids appreciate it!!!
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    By the way...something I forgot to add, Waste you are pretty correct about the pool...two things that Poolmom and I do differently...I dont keep my solar cover on all the time...I like to swim at night, and We use our pool every day...almost all summer long...I didn't have a deck well and still don't but will, but that made putting cover on and taking it off difficult...so I always had a lot of burn off of my Chlorine...And I end up having to put in bleach or 10% liquid Chlorine every day during the week...But the weekend we have heavy usage that is why I use the CAL HYPO. It just helps...
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    BTW, One thing I forgot to add is I don't swim in Beave's pool cause he keeps it TOO DARN COLD! (as opposed to my pool and the constant 92 degrees.... )

    I love it when THE LOGIC gets in the way....LOL!
    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

  19. Back To Top    #19
    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    BTW, One thing I forgot to add is I don't swim in Beave's pool cause he keeps it TOO DARN COLD! (as opposed to my pool and the constant 92 degrees.... )

    I love it when THE LOGIC gets in the way....LOL!
    I hope that you will at least give it a try this year...I am spending the money for the solar panels for you and for Kristen next door...Who like warm pool water...By the way...when you swim in Lake Michigan since you were 7 Years Old...74 degrees is warm!!!

    I'm gonna get me some of that Logic tonight for sure...what a week...
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: New to the School

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    BTW, One thing I forgot to add is I don't swim in Beave's pool cause he keeps it TOO DARN COLD! (as opposed to my pool and the constant 92 degrees.... )
    I'm with ya there. Just a few miles north of you too. I have to deal with being cold all winter long, I want to be WARM in the summer! Our pool averages 88*-90*. Then again, warm water is essential when your in for 6 hours. I still swim in Lake Michigan... that was is COLD!

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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