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Thread: Rookie questions

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    Rookie questions

    Hi all,

    I am a new member and VERY new at pool maintenance. My family just purchased an above ground pool. I am concerned about not knowing anything about the chemicals. I recently joined “trouble free pool” and read that buying liquid bleach, baking soda and borax is the way to go.

    My pool dimensions are 15’ (round) by 4’ deep. The pool calculator says it holds 5000 gallons of water. I went out and bought the “all in one tablets” but I would rather use the grocery products that apparently do as good a job if not better that the store bought pool products.

    My questions:

    1. How much liquid bleach, baking soda and borax do I pour in the
    pool just to get going??? My current levels would be non existent right?
    2. How soon can the kids swim in it once applied?
    3. Once the pool is at acceptable levels – how often and at what
    dosage do I add the liquid bleach, baking soda and borax?
    4. I am not planning on running the filter 24 X 7 – so do I need to
    run it a bit prior to swimming and add additional chemicals?
    5. If we don't use the pool for a week, filter is off, do I then have to start from scratch again?

    Thanks in advance!!!
    DBeck
    Smithfield RI

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie questions

    All of your questions should be answered by reading Pool School.

    After doing so, if you still have questions - post back on this thread.

    In the meantime, order one of the recommended test kits, there is an article in Pool School that compares them - note: it is very unlikely you will find an appropriate kit in stores, you are better off ordering online from either TFTestkits.net or Taylor.

    Welcome to TFP!

    So off to Pool School, read everything there, then read it again. It's a lot to take in at first but eventually it will click and begin to make perfect sense.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie questions

    Hi DBeck, and welcome to the forum.

    Being a new pool owner can be intimidating at first, we've all been there, but by mid-summer you'll be an old hand at it. Your best bet is to read your way through the articles in Pool School, the link is in the upper right corner of the page. It will answer all of your questions.

    One thing I would strongly recommend is that you get a good test kit. I use the TF Test kit and am glad I made the investment. By entering the test results in the Pool Calculator you'll know exactly what and how much needs to be added.

    How soon the kids can swim depends on what chemicals you put in. I normally give it 1/2 hour of circulation time before we get in after adding bleach. I broadcast liquid bleach over the surface and follow that with a quick brushing to mix it in.

    How often and how much to add depends on your test results.

    Few of us run our pumps 24/7. Mine runs on a timer for 6 hours during the night and I turn it on after the dogs have been in the pool. I normally add my chemicals in the evening just after the pump kicks in at 7:00 PM.

    If you don't run the pump for a week you'll likely get algae and will have to treat the water before you resume swimming.

    Pool School is the place to be right now, truly.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Rookie questions

    Thx for the responses. Pool School is very helpful, now I know to pour the liquid bleach near the intake flow and do it very slowly. However, I still don't know how much? Can't I pour the entire jug or half the jug in to get going?

    Dbeck

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie questions

    Quote Originally Posted by dbeck
    Thx for the responses. Pool School is very helpful, now I know to pour the liquid bleach near the intake flow and do it very slowly. However, I still don't know how much? Can't I pour the entire jug or half the jug in to get going?

    Dbeck
    We need to know your current test results / chem levels - before we can advise you how much to add. Do you have current test results?
    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: Rookie questions

    Hi,

    My test strip color is showing at the lowest level or chlorine.
    All the colors are at the lowest levels, some aren't even matching to any color?
    Thx,
    Dbeck

  7. Back To Top    #7
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie questions

    The strips are useless. I hate to be blunt, but you need a good test kit, or you will just be guessing.

    Do you have a floater for the tabs? IF so, for now, put a couple tabs in a floater, and add 1/2 jug of 6% bleach to get you started.

    You'll need CYA, probably Borax or Washing Soda to raise your PH and Baking Soda to Raise your TA. I can't really advise how much of each without actual numbers to go by.

    Until you have a good kit, can you make it over to a pool store or somewhere they can test the water for you? We need numbers...

    FC
    CC
    PH
    TA
    CYA
    CH

    No worries, we'll help you get this figured out.
    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: Rookie questions

    OK thanks!!!!!! Cant get to a store right now but will later today. Thanks again!!!

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    Re: Rookie questions

    Hi,

    Ok - I added 3 Chlorinating tablets in "floating dolphin" and ran the filter. I still have the strip test method (sorry - couldn't run to the pool store tonight.)

    Total Hardness = 50 (strip says low)
    Total Bromine = between 5-10 (strip says ideal to OK)
    Total Alkalnity = 0 (low)
    PH = 2-3 (very low)

    Thx,
    Dbeck

  10. Back To Top    #10
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie questions

    Ignore references to Bromine, you are using chlorine in your pool.

    Hardness is fine, it's irrelevant to your vinyl pool.

    For PH we are looking for numbers ranging from 6.8 to 7.8... is yours below 6.8?

    For TA were looking for numbers above 60. Is yours below that?

    These two numbers are alarmingly low and you need to rectify it tomorrow. As well as getting some CYA.

    I'd advise you to get the water tested so we can know what's going on, because really, the strips aren't helping anything.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Rookie questions

    OK thanks.

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