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Thread: Opening issues

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    Opening issues

    First, a big thanks to those running this site and answering questions. I've read a lot and am converting to BBB this season. Lots of Pool School this past winter!!

    I have my TF 100 test kit, but I'm having issues with my opening. The whole system is about 15 years old. The heater was added two years ago and the pump replaced last year. Replaced the multiport valve and all the sand in the sand filter last year. Inspected all laterals and they were in good shape. Replumbed pump front side because of leak in a valve. I was hoping to only have to deal with learning the BBB method on startup, but that is not to be.

    The previous owners had a brominator on the system at some point, but had converted to chlorine before we bought the house in Jul. '06. On the return side is a drain plug and plugged brominator port. When the heater was installed, the installers did some interesting 90 degree bends to leave both plugs there. Had I known better I would have told them to get rid of both of those.

    The problem is the old brominator plug was leaking on startup this year. I tried plugging it with some pool epoxy and then make a coupling and used PVC glue to try to seal it. I shouldn't have even tried to take the easy way out, but I really wanted to get the pool circulating. I've given up trying to repair it in place and am getting ready to replumb the return side this year. The picture shows the return with the wet spot right under where I tried to repair the brominator hole. I'm planning on removing everything from the return on the bottom of the heater to the two return lines (top two pipes on left). I'm replacing the connector to the heater, the valves and all the connectors down to ground level. The smaller pipe on the bottom left doesn't seem to do anything at all (tried it open and closed last season with no change anywhere). We don't know if it was plumbed for something in the past, but there wasn't a slide, spa or water feature anywhere. So far, the plan is to cap it off and leave it in place since I don't want to dig up the patio to see where it goes.

    Mainly I wanted to see if the experts had any opinion on my replumbing plan. We'd like to add a SWG, but probably not this season. I don't have a lot of room for one after the heater if I plumb it using the shortest possible path, but I don't like all the bends that are in line now. My clean filter pressure went from 10 psi to 20 psi with the installtion of the heater and I attribute it mostly to the bends.

    Once I get it circulating, I'll post numbers so I can tackle the big green monster that's lurking under my winter cover (I opened it enough to install the returns and open the skimmer. I know I'm facing a huge algae problem once I can start attacking it.)

    -- Pete

    PS. Sorry it was so long. I'm often guity of "too much information".

    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Opening issues

    It looks to me like you could save the fitting that connects to the heater, the elbow and that short piece of pipe, turn it around 180 degrees and use a straight coupling from there. It isn't really a big deal, you could go either way. Everything else you mentioned, I would replace. That area has been worked on too many different times
    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: Opening issues

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    It looks to me like you could save the fitting that connects to the heater, the elbow and that short piece of pipe, turn it around 180 degrees and use a straight coupling from there.
    Good catch. I might have noticed that when I started to rip stuff apart, but I'm hit or miss with that. Thanks for the second set of eyes on it. Hopefully I'll get it up and running soon and then I'll get to see how well I do with http://www.troublefreepool.com/turni...sis-t4147.html.
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Unexpected results

    I got all my fitting and materials and cut off the two 1 1/2 inch return pipes and the 1 inch "unknown" pipe that I was all set up to cap off. The service guy at the pool store I've used in the past said that if I was capping off that pipe and this line was just going from the heater to the returns in the pool, I didn't even need a valve there. I was just going to pipe is straight over.

    Since everything isn't running yet, I haven't adjusted the water level in the pool. As a result of cutting the pipes, I had a little fountain, so I turned on the pump to waste so I wouldn't be working on PVC underwater. Strangely enough, the "unknown" pipes water level followed along with the other two. I'm thinking it MUST be connected to the pool somehow and I just haven't known how for three seasons.

    I hooked up my air compressor and blew out the line. Nice spray up from the "drain" in the shallow end of the pool!! The "drain" in the shallow end of my pool is a return. Who knew?!?!

    Now I'm confused. Do I just hook it back up like it was? Do I still need the two cutoff valves? If so, what's the proper adjustment for flow? Since this also means that I only have one bottom drain and the skimmer, I'm wondering if I should plumb it to the suction side to prevent a bottom suction safety issue. If I do that, do I need to do anything to the port in the bottom of the pool? It's basically a circle with twenty (or so) holes in it.

    I just want to get my pool circulating so I can clean it!! Someone tell me this is going to end (preferable end well!)

    -- Pete
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Opening issues

    I would plumb the small pipe the same way it is plumbed now, and give each pipe to the pool it's own cutoff valve. The valves are not essential, but they do come in handy sometimes.
    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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    First results

    I've repaired the plumbing issues (finally!!) I also learned in this that my shallow end drain that I now learned was a return, I have now learned is a fountain. It comes clear up out of the water and sprays water while spinning around in a circle. Who knew. My eight year old is ecstatic! I'm quite happy I installed the shutoff for that line....

    On to first test. The pool is deep green, you could even call it black and I wouldn't argue with you. I used the leaf net to get what I could off the bottom (stuff blows in under the winter mesh cover edges). There wasn't much there. I need to get a new vacuum hose tomorrow and start blind vacuuming. And bleach shopping. Don't forget the bleach shopping!! BTW, I'm running the multivalve in recirculate overnight so I don't shoot my pressure through the roof without being able to do something about it. After I start treating it tomorrow, I'll shift over to filter.

    FC 0
    CC 0
    TC 0
    pH 7.2
    TA 110
    CH 140
    Temp 52
    CYA - not tested (pump not running 24h yet)

    From the "Turning Your Green Swamp..." article, it seems like my pH is in good shape. I need to find out my CYA. I've been using TriClor for the last three years, so it could be anything, so I don't want to add blindly. My plan is to bring my FC level up to 15 tomorrow until I can get a CYA reading in the evening (opened the pool about 8PM tonight.) Brush, brush, brush and vac and bleach in the meantime...

    Should I bring my TA down before I start, or after I get stuff under control (poolcalc says 70 to 90)? I'll be reading a while, so I'm sure I'll find the answer in another thread too. Now that I have a fountain in my pool, aerating should be a snap!

    -- Pete
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

  7. Back To Top    #7
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    Re: Opening issues

    Your TA is fine where it is. You only need to lower it to the 70-90 if you experience frequent PH rise over 7.8 and you have to add acid on a daily basis...then you should follow the TA Lowering via MA/Aeration method.

    You need to know your CYA. You should do that first, because adding bleach will be a waste of time if you just have to drain the water out....if your CYA is over 100.

    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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    Re: Opening issues

    poolmom, thanks for the info. Should I not do anything until I get my 24 hour CYA reading?

    Also, every season for the past three years (as long as we've had the pool), we've had what our pool store has called a chlorine demand. I've had really high combined chlorine readings most of the season each year and they've had me drain and replace a lot of water and add lots and lots of different chlorine products (sometimes an oxidizer if my chlorine reading was high.) After finding this forum late last year, I thought ammonia might be a problem and I asked them about it (naive, you think?) I remember the quote "Ammonia? What? Do you have fish in there?" Ha, Ha. Funny. I hadn't learned enough to feel comfortable converting and doing all my own testing and it was late in the year, so I continued the pool store saga. You all know it, right?

    Anyway, on a hunch this year, and since I'm waiting for my water to mix, I bought ammonia test strips from WalMart. My reading is between the 3.0 and 6.0 colors on the side of the bottle. From reading Johnny B's saga, I feel like I'm in for a real workout getting my pool under control this year. Since it's got algae and ammonia do I do anything different other than finding my shock level (once I know my CYA) and keeping it there until my FC hold within 1 over night and my CC remains under .5?

    This is all complicated by the fact that I know I'm going to be away from the pool this weekend from Sunday morning to Monday evening. Should I wait until I'm back to even start tackling it?

    Thanks for all the help. I know it will be sparkling clear and a breeze to maintain once I get it under control, but I also know I've got a long road ahead of me.

    -- Pete
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Opening issues

    When did you turn on the pump? If it's been circulating overnight you should be able to test CYA now.

    You are correct, your CYA level will determine the proper course of things. I suspect your problems in past years were too high CYA and you were, to put it mildly, "pool stored". Happens to the best of us!

    I don't know about the ammonia test strips, if they are accurate enough. But either way, the process is the same, lots and lots of chlorine, and holding it up to shocklevel...and you've got that down . I would recommend you buy the 10-12.5% liquid chlorine to reduce the number of jugs you have to buy/lug around. Check your pool store, of all places I know , because they often have the best price. Ironic, huh?

    I would wait until your return to begin tackling this. Any progress you make between now and Sunday may be lost if you can't stay on top of it.

    If it is too high CYA draining should help things, but if it's ammonia then your CYA may be gone, consumed by bacteria and converted to the ammonia, ala the Johnny B saga...poor JB

    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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    Re: Opening issues

    Thanks again. The pool store I've been using doesn't carry liquid chlorine, but I've found a Great Escape just down the road that does. They have a 4 gal case for $10, but the delivery doesn't come in until this Saturday. He didn't know if it was 10 or 12%, but it seems that since I'm going to be away this weekend I've got the time to wait. Sams had the second best price with three 182oz bottles of 6% for $7.50.

    I turned my pump on at 8PM last night. I can test this morning. With all the algae, I was planning on following the suggestion to filter the water through a coffee filter before doing the CYA test. I'll post the results in a while.

    It's hard to let a big green nasty pool sit there without doing anything to it. I guess reading and learning is the best thing I can be doing for now.
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Re: Opening issues

    4gal of 10% for $10 is an AWESOME price! Even 7.50 for 3x182 of 6% is better than I can find around here, except when the pool store is running its occasional 2-for-1 special.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Opening issues

    CYA is zero.

    So, if I understand what I've read, until I get back Monday afternoon, I do nothing. Then, I should check my pH and adjust it down to around 7.2 if necessary. Then I need to start getting some CYA in there to bring it up to about 20 (higher or lower with the ammonia issue? and I don't want to add it before I go because it will just get converted to ammonia, right?)

    Then while the CYA is dissolving in a sock, bring FC to shock level based on how much CYA I added and retest hourly and add liquid chlorine until it's holding shock level. Then just keep at it at least twice a day making sure it's at shock level and brushing and vacuuming and filtering.

    Sigh. It seems like I'll need as much POP as chlorine. Can you buy that somewhere too?

    Looks like Johnny B and I might get to share a pool opening story. If I'm adding gallons of bleach every day for a month, I'm going to have to make sure my wife doesn't kill me in my sleep.

    -- Pete
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Re: Opening issues

    Shock level depends on your CYA level. Starting out with a CYA level of zero, you want to use a shock level of 10. 24 hours after you add some CYA you can start treating it as if the CYA level is the level you were targeting with the CYA addition and adjust your shock level accordingly.
    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: Opening issues

    I'm going to start a business, manufacturing POP and marketing it via this forum

    Sounds like you've got a handle on things, and TGE price is excellent, buy 2 cases to start.

    You and JB can start an ammonia pool support group....I can see the new forum area now....

    Wow your right, it's been almost a month for Johnny....
    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: Opening issues

    Quote Originally Posted by loughps
    Thanks again. The pool store I've been using doesn't carry liquid chlorine, but I've found a Great Escape just down the road that does. They have a 4 gal case for $10, but the delivery doesn't come in until this Saturday. He didn't know if it was 10 or 12%, but it seems that since I'm going to be away this weekend I've got the time to wait. Sams had the second best price with three 182oz bottles of 6% for $7.50.

    I turned my pump on at 8PM last night. I can test this morning. With all the algae, I was planning on following the suggestion to filter the water through a coffee filter before doing the CYA test. I'll post the results in a while.

    It's hard to let a big green nasty pool sit there without doing anything to it. I guess reading and learning is the best thing I can be doing for now.
    If it is 10% Buy one for me too. That is a great price for 10% I found it for 7.99 a gallon at my local ace...I will have to check my TGE by my house.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
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    Re: Opening issues

    Quote Originally Posted by cubbybeave08
    If it is 10% Buy one for me too. That is a great price for 10% I found it for 7.99 a gallon at my local ace...I will have to check my TGE by my house.
    I thought you got a 2-pack for that price? If not you got robbed, I hate to say. I paid $2.99 the other day for 12.5%....
    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: Opening issues

    I can't stand to sit and do nothing!! I decided to run the "extreme chlorine demand test" both to get more practice testing water that actually HAS chlorine in it and to get a general idea on how much chlorine I'm going to need since I've got the algae and the ammonia going on.

    Chem Geek had a post that said a gauge for how much chlorine you'd need to treat ammonia is 8 * ammonia reading - CC. I don't have any CC to factor into it and my ammonia reading was between the 3.0 and 6.0 reading on the test strip, so based on that I should need around 24 ppm to 48 ppm chlorine before I can start to hold my shock level.

    On the first round with the demand test, I used an ounce of 6% bleach (96 ppm based on JasonLion's numbers) and after one hour had more than 10 ppm chlorine (I got to 20 drops and it was still bright pink and I stopped testing to save reagent.) I dumped that bucket out and started over. Since I have a limited amount of time for testing today, I decided to use two teaspoons (32 ppm) to start. I could have been overshooting, but didn't think I was. After one hour, I had 7.5 ppm FC. I've got just enough time before I have to head out for three hours for one more dose, which will be a total of 48 ppm chlorine and with the first test still at 7.5 ppm after an hour, I'm hopeful I'll be over 10 ppm when I test again.

    Poolcalc says I'll need about 14 gallons of 6% to get 48 ppm in there. If what TGE has is only 10%, I'll need just over 2 cases to get started. I think I'll try to pick up three or four cases to have on hand for when I get back from our weekend trip.

    After I get back, I'm going to check the pH to make sure it's still in a good spot and then add my CYA. Poolcalc says I need about 4.5 pounds to get to 40, so I'm planning on starting with 3 pounds in a sock and then start adding chlorine. Poolcalc says almost two gallons of 10% to get to 10 ppm. I'm assuming I start there (since my CYA is starting out at zero) and test FC and add every half hour to get it started out. Since I have a good idea I'm going to need between 32 and 48 ppm before I start to hold FC, can I add it any fast than that? Every 10 or 15 minutes, or do I need at least a half hour to let it get distributed?

    Then after 24 hours I can start using the 30 ppm number for the CYA to calculate shock level, right? After a week I need to test for CYA and see where I really ended up, I think. But after the first 24 hours I'll use 30 as my level and get my FC up to shock level until it holds within one overnight and CC is < .5.

    I'm eager to get started, but since I'm going to need to be at it a while, it gets me through waiting until Monday or Tuesday to start.

    -- Pete
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Opening issues

    Quote Originally Posted by loughps
    Since I have a good idea I'm going to need between 32 and 48 ppm before I start to hold FC, can I add it any fast than that? Every 10 or 15 minutes, or do I need at least a half hour to let it get distributed?

    Then after 24 hours I can start using the 30 ppm number for the CYA to calculate shock level, right? After a week I need to test for CYA and see where I really ended up, I think. But after the first 24 hours I'll use 30 as my level and get my FC up to shock level until it holds within one overnight and CC is < .5.

    I'm eager to get started, but since I'm going to need to be at it a while, it gets me through waiting until Monday or Tuesday to start.

    -- Pete
    Pete, in the article with the instructions for the test, Jason has this comment, which basically answers your question:

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    You don't want to add chlorine to the pool either too quickly or too slowly. The best approach is to add chlorine up to shock level for your CYA level, wait half and hour, test the FC level and add more chlorine, and so on every half hour. In a plaster/pebble pool you can use the mustard algae high shock level to speed things up.

    If you add too much chlorine all at once you can get bleaching of the pool surface and corrosion of metal parts. If you add chlorine too slowly it is lost to sunlight and algae growing and you don't get the full effect.

    The test, I describe above using a bucket, can give you an idea of the amount of chlorine you are going to need to have on hand, but you should not duplicate the procedure by adding 96 ppm of chlorine to the pool all at once.
    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: Opening issues

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    the article with the instructions for the test, Jason has this comment, which basically answers your question:
    Doh!
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Re: Opening issues

    I'm back from my weekend trip and am finally actively working on the green water in my pool. I checked out the pH when I got back and it was still 7.2. Since my CYA was zero when I tested it and I want to get it up to 40, I added 3 pounds of stabilizer to a couple of socks and hung them near a return. Once all the dissolves, my CYA reading should be near 30 and I'll hit it again in a week or so.

    Right now, I'm not sure I did the sock thing right. They're hung about 3 feet from a return that's pointed their way (I had a handy place to tie them there.) The problem is that barely anything has dissolved out of them. Do I need to move them to another spot? If I just leave them here and they're dissolving slowly, should I use the shock level for zero CYA until they're dissolved. I know Jason said I could use the new target after 24 hours, but I don't know if that applies if the stuff all seems to still be in the sock.

    Shocking and brushing are going well so far. I started testing every half hour when I started and got the FC reading to hold up at about 7 (dosing for 10) after an hour and a half. I've cut back to checking hourly and dosing it for 10 ppm, except overnight. I added liquid chlorine about 9 PM last night and this morning at 8 AM I still had 2 ppm, which gave me a little hope. Of course I added more chlorine this morning and am set to test again soon. I'll brush a few times as I go too. As the water gets lighter I can see better where I've missed trying to blindly hit it.

    BTW, once they actually got the 12.5% chlorine in at TGE and I went to buy it, it wasn't $10 a case, it was $14 a case. Still pretty good, but when I do the math for what I can buy 6% for at Sams, it seems they're almost even. I'll probably stick with the pool store for a while since I'll only be carrying half the bottles home.

    -- Pete
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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