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Thread: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

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    Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    I am going to try to follow the advice on here:
    turning-your-green-swamp-back-into-a-sparking-oasis-t4147.html
    I've read it a bunch but need to keep refreshing myself on it.
    And I am hoping to get a little extra help along the way in this thread.
    I am hoping to swim in the pool in 10 days or less and am ready to do the work on it.

    Inground, approx 23000 gallons, old vinyl liner.
    It's a medium to dark green currently and you cannot see more than about 1.5 feet deep.
    We are unable to get more of the bottom **** out of there because of not being able to see anymore.
    I have around 33 gallons of bleach ready to go, I am hoping to add in many gallons tomorrow early evening.

    The pool store tested the pool this afternoon, their results should be good I hope. Here they are:
    CYA: 10, Total chlorine: 0.6, Free chlorine: 0, pH >8,
    Total alkalinity: 237, Adj. Total alkalinity: 234, Total Hardness: 109,
    TDS: 500, Saturation Index: 0.5

    About 20 minutes before taking the water sample, I went ahead and added about 40%
    of a container of "pH Down" because I had it, so my pH might be a bit lower soon. Of course
    40% of one of these small containers isn't enough to get it down that much.

    It is sunny weather last week and this week and the pool is going to stay uncovered unless we really need to cover it up. The winter tarp I have is a real pain.

    I am 'over'filling the pool right now because I thought I might need to vaccuum it to waste.

    The pool store told me that what I should do is a floc treatment. (Add bottles of floc, brush it all, then let it settle 1/2 to 2 days.) I would rather not spend the money on floc treatment and have to brush it and wait days. They say, then vaccum and bring another water sample so they can then sell me shock and other chemicals. I am guessing that you would advise that I skip this.

    Obviously right now, my main concern is getting the pool in the right condition so that I can add the bleach.

    I unfortunately do not have a really good test kit for CYA, my test kit seems good for everything except CYA though. And I am willing to go get a sample tested at the store as needed.

    I have some PoolTime 50% algaecide (half a bottle which is only good for 5000 gallons) -- since I have it, maybe toss it in the pool tonight or in the morning?

    I am ready to go buy some things tonight or in the morning. I still have no gotten any borax, baking soda, etc as I am not sure how much to get.

    I will try to read more and maybe answer some of my own questions but it is a little overwhelming. I looked at the pool calculator page and I don't know what to put in for CH or Borate and maybe some other values.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    You want to get your PH down below 7.5 before shocking, ideally more like 7.2.

    I don't trust the pool store CYA reading. The good CYA test can't read below 10, and the test which can read that low is often wildly wrong. You don't have to, but it would help, to get your CYA up a little. I suggest raising CYA by 20, just to make sure it isn't right near zero. If you do that, treat the CYA level as if it was 30, unless you get a better test result.

    Trying to use floc before you kill all the algae is a complete waste of time. After you kill the algae, using floc has it's advantages but is a huge amount of work. I suggest avoiding floc.

    Don't add the algaecide. It won't help much and might cause problems.
    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: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Ok, so it says add 68 oz of 31.45% muriatic acid... I hope I can find that at Walmart, I think someone said that I could in the cleaning aisle? And 64 oz of dry stabilizer... do I buy this at the pool section / pool store?

    I will buy and add these tonight or in the morning -- could I possibly be ready to add the bleach tomorrow evening?

    We had a CYA reading of 35 a couple months ago but I guess that was before we changed 30% of the water out. That reading was done with the better spot/dot type test (then I ran out of the reagent).
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    I have some PoolTime 50% algaecide (half a bottle which is only good for 5000 gallons) -- since I have it, maybe toss it in the pool tonight or in the morning?
    I wouldn't. One of the tenants of BBB is not putting things into the pool that are not necessary. Or things when you aren't sure of the results. Or things when you don't know the dosage.

    BBB is all about careful testing and careful dosing and understanding your pool water. "Trying" something to see what happens seldom has a great outcome.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Once the CYA is showing like 30 and pH is below 7.4, then I am ready to add bleach? I put 23000 as my pool volume, 0 current FC, 13 desired FC, and 5.25% is the strength of my bleach. So it's saying I only need 5 gallons 2 quarts. Maybe I will go overboard a bit and put in 8 gallons which would be to get an FC of 19, or should I avoid going that high? I know that I'll have to add more later like another 10 gallons the first day or something. Maybe that is wrong? I used a different chart before and I was under the impression that I would have to add like 3 times as much.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    CYA/stabilizer/conditioner is found in the pool departments of some big box stores and at pool stores.

    Muriatic acid is sold mostly by hardware stores. Places like Lowes and Home Depot carry it, though they sometimes hide it in strange departments. I have seen muriatic acid in the paint department, concrete department, pool department, and in random places in their outdoors area. Larger normal hardware stores also have it, as do some paint stores.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Yes, you are ready to shock.

    Add the calculated amount of bleach, then wait an hour, test the FC level and raise it up to shock level again. Keep repeating at least twice a day, but not more than once an hour. You will probably find that the chlorine gets used up quickly the first few 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: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Ok, great, seems pretty simple actually. Can I add muriatic acid and the stabilizer pretty much at the same time? Or have to wait 30 mins or a couple hours in between? Hopefully adding those in the next few hours. Tomorrow I guess I will test the FC after adding 5.5 gallons and maybe it will need more. Thanks.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Ok I have the muriatic acid. I was about to buy some solid/dry stabilizer but then I noticed that it says solid ones can take up to a week to dissolve. I don't want to wait that long. Also it says stabilizer will lower pH. So I guess I don't want to add that much muriatic acid yet. I will try to find a granulized stabilizer or maybe break it up myself somehow. The pool stores are closed, they MIGHT have liquid stabilizer but I don't know that they would. Any advice on that? Also am a little worried about handling the muriatic acid.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Quote Originally Posted by aquamarine
    Ok I have the muriatic acid. I was about to buy some solid/dry stabilizer but then I noticed that it says solid ones can take up to a week to dissolve. I don't want to wait that long. Also it says stabilizer will lower pH. So I guess I don't want to add that much muriatic acid yet. I will try to find a granulized stabilizer or maybe break it up myself somehow. The pool stores are closed, they MIGHT have liquid stabilizer but I don't know that they would. Any advice on that? Also am a little worried about handling the muriatic acid.
    Muratic is just as easy to handle as bleach, just be a little more careful: I prefer older clothes, safety glasses, Don't breath it, and pour it slowly into the return stream i the deep end. It's not a big deal either but it is acid so don't splash it or get it on your clothes.

    Dry CYA is by far the least expensive way to go. The dry CYA starts dissolving immediately but will lodge in the filter and will take 5-7 days to fully dissolve. CYA is a 'weak' acid so it won't have that much effect on the PH. It 'might' drop it by 0.2 points in 5 days when you are at 7.4 to begin with.
    Remember: POP (pool owners patience) is your friend!
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    Lots of oak trees, maple trees, *and* leaves!

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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Thanks!

    Progress so far... last night, we added 6 lbs of dry granularized stabilizer and around 70 oz muriatic acid. The readings soon after showed CYA: 15, pH 7.2, and alkalinity of course was more in line with normal.

    When adding the stabilizer, we used concrete to mash it up and put it in hot water, hoping this would help it dissolve faster and raise the pool levels faster. It's possible that hurt its effectiveness though.

    Currently... readings are pH more like 6.8, CYA: same like 15 (with the bad inaccurate test strips). The water is a much nicer sea green color with a blueish tint. Still fairly cloudy, can't see.

    So the current plan is to add another 6 lbs stabilizer and add 4 lbs borax and then see where we are. Maybe add even more stabilizer. Also the borax seems like it wouldn't be enough and I am planning to buy some pH Up since it seems actually cheaper than the borax since it is more efficient.

    Still hoping to add the first dose of shock a few hours from now, and then of course monitor and add more over the next 8 hours after the first dose. I am still unsure if the 5.5 gallons is the correct first dose, but I will add them then test the FC.

    It's too bad I didn't order that refill bottle of CYA reagent online last week.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    It can take CYA up to a week to dissolve. There really isn't much point in testing the level before then, you are just wasting CYA reagent. Give it the full week, and then test the level with something other than test strips. If you proceed with your current plan, your CYA level will end up way to hight and you will end up needing to replace water.

    Go ahead and raise the PH as you described sometime soon.
    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: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Hm, well, does that mean I can't add bleach for days? Or can I add it but just don't worry about CYA at all anymore.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Quote Originally Posted by aquamarine
    Hm, well, does that mean I can't add bleach for days? Or can I add it but just don't worry about CYA at all anymore.
    Just don't worry about the CYA for a few days until it has had time to dissolve.
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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Thanks again.

    Current status: Added the half box of Borax, and pH is still around 6.8 unfortunately. So either Borax had no effect yet, or pH would've dropped lower if not for the Borax -- probably the latter. So now have added 32 oz of pH Up stuff from Walmart and will test again soon. Going by the dosing on the bottle, 32 oz should get me slightly above 7.2. Normally when adding pH up it seems to take effect and be stable within 20 mins. Will add more if the reading is not 7.2+. Once it is 7.2+ I will add the first dose of bleach.

    Also found a place locally to buy some reagent. They only have the little bottles. I will try to order a bigger bottle online soon if I can find a place that isn't $10 for shipping and handling. I probably should not get a bottle bigger than 8 oz though as I wouldn't use it fast enough before I goes bad. Would want 3-4 oz preferrably I am thinking.

    Some of my other chemicals may be too old and needing to be thrown out. I think I read that ideally you replace them every year, but hopefully some of them can last this long.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

  16. Back To Top    #16
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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    The test reagents can last two years or more if you store them in a cool dark place.

    Your PH might have been much lower than 6.8. The common PH test shows levels lower than 6.8 as if they were 6.8.
    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: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Update:

    pH seemed high actually (7.6) so now have been adding muriatic acid again and now it's down to about 7.4, just added a bit more muriatic acid to try to get it more like 7.3 or 7.2, it's getting there.

    Have added 6 jugs of bleach 4 times now. Spaced half an hour apart. I only have crappy test strips for FC but so far the pool keeps getting slightly better colored and the FC is showing about 1, maybe a little bit more. Which is an improvement. And the strips may be showing numbers on the low side. Even with the low cost of bleach, this is adding up, but I am grateful it's not nearly as bad as last attempt with pool store chemicals. And there are results this time!

    Am going to begin brushing all around the liner. Vaccuuming seems not very possible due to not being able to see but I believe that brushing blindly will be okay and worthwhile. Trying to go over every area at least once. Then I figure later on it will need maybe one more brushing over, and then later when we can see, we can vaccuum and net most of the solids are out, and then the Dolphin can take over.

    Getting tired but don't want to stop at this point... I hope FC will go up more soon.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    Um... do I keep going? The pool got its fifth dose of 6 jugs (96 oz) of 6% sodium hypochlorite. So, 30 jugs of chlorine and the FC is still reading at about 1 or so. The test with the drops seems to be around .6-1 and the strip tests are white, which is 1... no purplish tint that would indicate more than 1. Of course the drops and strips are old, but they were stored well. The total chlorine is super high, it's been testing off the chart even 12-18 jugs ago. FC got to 1 after the first 12 jugs. I am a bit worried about losing the progress that was made but we need sleep. Also I am still worried that it is going to be a repeat of last year. Last year we had gotten near this point and had put in hundreds of dollars of chlorine after balancing pH, then had to give up because it was late October already. The pool's current CYA is not testing high, but I mentioned this earlier today and was advised to not worry about the CYA since I had just added the two bottles of stabilizer. Anything to change or add? The color keeps improving a little I guess (hard to tell at night) but not that much. It's still all cloudy and you can't see.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    I guess blind vaccuming has to be done, ugh.

    Also was worried that since total chlorine is SO high, it would take a week or two weeks or more to come down enough to be able to swim in there? Once FC is good.

    I guess the pool is going to sit unattended for up to 12 hours now, we both just spent the whole day on it basically Eating, sleeping, etc.

    BTW I have a sand filter.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool

    I read that in my situation where FC won't go up, maybe I have too high phosphates, so I should buy phosphate remover?

    Since this is my second time trying to deal with it. Last year $150 of pool store chlorine was dumped in (after balancing pH and adding stabilizer), mostly in one day, and FC still was like 1.

    I will probably go see if the pool store has a good test kit for FC that isn't too terribly overpriced. And/or get them to test my water again.

    And probably buy another 30 jugs of bleach but that is not too fun. (Bought 10 tonight.)

    Also it says that often when you have green algae you get a "CYA consuming bacteria"?
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

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