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Thread: Hello and Help?

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    victoria4504's Avatar
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    Hello and Help?

    Hello, I live in Baltimore, Maryland and I just found this web site last night and was "dumb founded" when I realized how easy pool maintenance can be. I especially like the BBB method. I can't believe I've been buying expensive bags of shock when I could have been using Bleach! If someone had told me to use bleach I would have thought they were crazy, but I see that I was actually the crazy one!

    Anyway, I read and read last night to figure out how to balance my pool and have beautiful crystal clean water. I think one of the first things I need to do is buy a testing kit. We have had our above ground pool for approximately 12 years and all I've ever used was test strips! Of course, I never could read them so I would end up taking pool water to the closest pool and spa store and having them analyze my water. The store we buy our chemicals from uses BioGuard brand products and analyzes our water through a computerized water analysis system.

    Anyway, my head is so full of numbers and symbols and abbreviations and "raise" this and "lower" that, that I am wondering if I just give you all the information from the water analysis I had done this morning, that someone could please tell me what to do?

    My water is currently blue and cloudy (can barely see the bottom). Following are the current conditions in my above ground pool:

    Temperature: 72 degree F
    Saturation Index: -0.7
    TDS: 500
    CYA: 98
    Total Chlorine: 0.6
    Free Chlorine: 0
    pH: 7.1
    Total Alkalinity: 82
    Adj. Totl Alk.: 53
    Total Hardness: 260

    The BioGuard dealer told me that I will need:
    One 12 lb. box of Balance Pak 100 ($16.77)
    One 3 lb. bottle & one 8 lb. bottle Lo 'N Slo ($18.13)
    One bag of Burn Out Extreme ($4.00)
    One 20 lb. container Optimizer Pluz ($47.18)

    I would be most appreciative if someone can tell me if I can clear up this cloudy problem for less than $91.24 (including sales tax)?

    Thanks, Vicky

    _________________
    8,300 gallon pool, Above ground printed vinyl, Sand filter
    8,300 gallon AG printed vinyl pool, Lomart Spectra 4 w/6 Position Valve 17" Sand Filter, Magnetek HP 1.0 SPL (60 GPM) Pump, Baltimore, MD

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Disregard their advice and don't buy any of their chems .

    Welcome to TFP!

    You had it right, the first thing you need to do is order the TF100 or the Taylor K-2006. Usually you can't get the Taylor kit in stores, and TF100 is only sold online. So consider ordering one online tonight, and you should have it in a couple of days.

    I can tell you right now you have two main issues, and another secondary issue...

    #1. Your CYA is too high, and as a result - #2 - you don't have enough Free Chlorine in your water to clear your pool.

    So, your first step will be to drain some of the water out and replace it with fresh. You should drain down about 1/3, refill, recirculate and retest. After the fresh water, the CYA may still be a tad too high, so it might be necessary to lower a bit more. But for now, try 1/3 down.

    Once we get the CYA level down, you'll begin to shock it with bleach, according to the CYA chart - see my sig. We are going to help you get your CYA level down to 60- so refer to the chart and see what your recommended FC levels will be. As you can see from the chart, trying to reach shock level with your CYA at 98 would be virtually impossible. At 60, you'll be able to manage better, and because you have a sand filter, it will continue to slowly drop thru backwashing.

    But first the drain/refill dance, and then retest all of the numbers. After your CYA is in line, and the water has recirculated, and we have updated PH test results, we can decide if the PH needs adjusting (your secondary issue). Right now it's too low, but since you'll be replacing water, no point in adjusting that yet.

    This is all based on the Recommended Levels for your pool, there is an article in Pool School.

    So as I said, disregard what the Pool Store said, nothing in that list of chems is going to help you get your pool clear. Fresh water, and plenty of bleach is the ticket!

    Hope this helps, if you are overwhelmed or confused about any of this, just holler.
    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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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Hi Vicky and welcome to the forum

    Yep, I agree. Your CYA is too high and your FC is way too low. The drain/refill dance is for you.

    Until you get your test kit, you can take your water samples back to the pool store (ugh) to get a rough idea on how you are doing w/the CYA.

    It can all seem a little overwhelming at first, but we can get you through it. Lots of nice folks around here willing to help.

    Soon, you will have a trouble free pool, too
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Hello and Help?

    The balance pak 100 is supposed to increase the TA. Yours is 83. A tad low, but not overly so. If you need to increase that later, buy some plain old baking soda from Costco or BJ's. 10# is about 7 bucks. Its the same thing as Balance pak 100!

    The Lo N Slo decreases ph and TA, so not sure why he told you to buy this. Your pH is too low and TA is close to ok.

    The optimizer plus is some sort of algecide.

    Like everyone else said. Get the CYA down to ~60, then use the pool calculator to determine the cya/chlorine ratio you need to maintain shock. It will clear.

    Stop using the pucks for chlorine if thats what you use. Thats why your cya level is so high most likely. Use bleach.

    or get a SWG

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    When you go back to get the water tested and they try to sell you something again, laugh and walk out and come back here and post your numbers!

    Take 60 bucks of the 100 and buy the TF-100 tonight and then put the rest towards the bleach, borax and baking soda!

    We'll set ya straight! I just started my other neighbor on BBB the other day. She was shocked but we didn't shock her new pool. It works! Just look at my avatar!
    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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    victoria4504's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Thank you everyone! I do have to admit it is a little confusing...but I can follow directions so I will just start there and try to understand it all later

    I will buy the test kit tonight. Tomorrow I will drain 1/3 of my pool water, then refill, recirculate and retest. I will then return here with new test numbers and we can go from there!

    Thank you again! It's been a long time since I've felt like I wasn't going to go broke each summer buying pool chemicals!

    Vicky
    8,300 gallon AG printed vinyl pool, Lomart Spectra 4 w/6 Position Valve 17" Sand Filter, Magnetek HP 1.0 SPL (60 GPM) Pump, Baltimore, MD

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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Welcome! I'm a newbie myself, just getting my tub balanced as I type. Fair warning, I had my CYA tested at a store that used some type of little vials of regents and then stuck it in a machine for readings. He said my CYA was 40 - but when I tested with a real test kit I had over 130 (over what the kit can measure.) Sadly that forced a drain/refill but everything is getting close to set now!

    Just wanted to say hi!

    -Chak
    290 Gallon fiberglass reinforced acrylic spa
    Cartridge filter
    Above Ground
    2 x 5HP pumps - unknown flow rate.
    Ozonator
    --------------------------------------------
    6800 Gallon 17' x 48" Vinyl above ground pool (Summer Escapes)
    Intex 2650 Sand Filter

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    victoria4504's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Hello again,

    I have drained a little over 1/3 of my pool water and have a question. If there's a chance that when I refill, recirculate, and retest that I will have to drain more water and begin again...would it be better to drain more water now, maybe even all of it....and just start over again?

    Thanks for your help,

    Vicky
    8,300 gallon AG printed vinyl pool, Lomart Spectra 4 w/6 Position Valve 17" Sand Filter, Magnetek HP 1.0 SPL (60 GPM) Pump, Baltimore, MD

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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Hi Vicky, welcome to TFP!!

    You can certainly drain a little more water out before you refill - the 1/3 was advised so that you could have a cya of ~ 60 without having to replace too much water all at once. It's a bad idea (in general) to drain all the water out of a liner pool - the liner does not like that If you don't mind paying the water bill, you can take it down to ~ 2' before refilling and not risk unseating the liner - this will reduce your high cya even more and thereby reduce the amount of bleach you need to add to maintain adequate fc 8) However, depending on your fill water chemical numbers, you may have to do some pH and alkalinity adjusting and, if you have metals in the fill water, you'll want to add a sequestering agent.

    I think you'll do well taking the pool to 1/2 and then refill it, add a couple gallons of bleach and a couple of pounds of Borax to start and then test with your new kit when it arrives in a couple of days (please note: the 2 gal bleach and the 2 lbs Borax are educated guesses on my part and designed to put some of what you'll need in the water ASAP - actual test numbers once you refill are really the only way to properly dose a pool )

    Please let us know how this progresses
    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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    victoria4504's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Yeah, I just received my TF 100 test kit. I have drained my pool 1/2 way and refilled. It has been circulating since 10:00 this morning. Should I put some chemicals into the pool before I test the water or test the water first and then put chemicals in? I know there is no chlorine in it.

    Also, I have bought 1 gallon 6% bleach, 4 lbs. baking soda, and 4 lbs. Borax. In addition to that, I still have some chemicals I bought from the pool store before getting to this board. I'd like to use them up first if it is okay to still use them. What I have is:

    * Blue Shield A.B.C. Alkalinity Balance Control - claims to increase total alkalinity and prevent ph from bouncing (about 5lbs.)

    * Blue Shield ph Increase (about 10 lbs.)

    * Blue Shield Algicide (1 gallon)

    * Bio Guard Stablizer 100 (1 lb.)

    * hth Shock & Swim (2 bags)

    * hth Pace Dual Action 3" Chlorinating Tabs (1 tab)

    What should I do first? I'm getting really exciting about getting crystal blue water!

    Thanks for your help!

    Vicky
    8,300 gallon AG printed vinyl pool, Lomart Spectra 4 w/6 Position Valve 17" Sand Filter, Magnetek HP 1.0 SPL (60 GPM) Pump, Baltimore, MD

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Post a full set of test results and we'll tell you what you need to add.
    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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    victoria4504's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Okay....I feel like a chemist! Still, the CYA test almost crossed my eyes permanently .

    Here are my test results:

    FC - 0
    CC - .5
    TC - .5
    ph - 7.5
    T/A - 90
    CH - 150
    CYA - 40

    What should I do now?

    Thanks...you guys are great!

    Vicky
    8,300 gallon AG printed vinyl pool, Lomart Spectra 4 w/6 Position Valve 17" Sand Filter, Magnetek HP 1.0 SPL (60 GPM) Pump, Baltimore, MD

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Wow. If all noobs numbers could be this good.....

    Add 112 oz of 6% bleach or
    add one of those Shock n' swim bags, dissolve it first in a bucket of water and pour it slowly into the return flow.

    Don't add anything else.

    Tomorrow morning, test the FC and CC again and post the result.

    If your FC is pretty stable in the morning, you may escape shocking!
    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: Hello and Help?

    *Blue Shield A.B.C. Alkalinity Balance Control - claims to increase total alkalinity and prevent ph from bouncing (about 5lbs.)
    Increases TA, your's is fine. Store in a cool dry place for future use.

    * Blue Shield ph Increase (about 10 lbs.)
    Increases PH, yours is fine. Store in a cool dry place for future use.

    * Blue Shield Algicide (1 gallon)
    Don't need it. Can you return it?

    * Bio Guard Stablizer 100 (1 lb.)
    Hang on to it for future use. Store in a cool, dry place.

    * hth Shock & Swim (2 bags)
    This is cal-hypo and you can use it up, as I described above.

    * hth Pace Dual Action 3" Chlorinating Tabs (1 tab)
    Save it, ya never know. Store it with the stabilizer.
    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: Hello and Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by victoria4504
    The BioGuard dealer told me that I will need:
    One 12 lb. box of Balance Pak 100 ($16.77) This is expensive baking soda
    One 3 lb. bottle & one 8 lb. bottle Lo 'N Slo ($18.13) This is just dry acid
    One bag of Burn Out Extreme ($4.00) overpriced 47% cal hypo, this is the weak stuff!
    One 20 lb. container Optimizer Pluz ($47.18) This is just very expensive borax!




    Quote Originally Posted by victoria4504

    * Blue Shield A.B.C. Alkalinity Balance Control - claims to increase total alkalinity and prevent ph from bouncing (about 5lbs.) This is baking soda and identical to the balance pak 100

    * Blue Shield ph Increase (about 10 lbs.) This is washing soda (soda ash). It will raise your pH and raise your TA a LOT. If you only need to raise pH borax is better! Chances are you will never need this if you switch to bleach. It is more useful with trichlor tabs, which drop ph and eat up TA. It can be useful if you ever accidently ovedose on acid in your pool and need to get both the pH AND TA up quickly and if kept dry won't go bad so keep it just in case.

    * Blue Shield Algicide (1 gallon) List the ingredients please. If it contains copper throw it out. If the chemical it contains does not start with the word 'poly' throw it out. Since it's a gallon contaner I suspect it is a linear quat and it will foam like bubble bath and sting your eyes. You don't need it anyway!

    * Bio Guard Stablizer 100 (1 lb.) This is CYA, a keeper

    * hth Shock & Swim (2 bags) This is 47% cal hypo, exacly the same as the burnout extreme and probably less expensive. Bleach is better but nothing wrong with cal hypo if your calcium is not too high.

    * hth Pace Dual Action 3" Chlorinating Tabs (1 tab) careful with these, they contain copper (that's the dual action)! You don't want copper in your pool, it only leads to heartache, stains, and green hair! Copper is an algaecide and in some very rare cases might be of some use but should really be avoided if possible. However, copper sulfate is very cheap so it's a very high profit item for manufacturers so they push it!
    Hope this is helpful/

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    * hth Pace Dual Action 3" Chlorinating Tabs (1 tab) careful with these, they contain copper (that's the dual action)! You don't want copper in your pool, it only leads to heartache, stains, and green hair! Copper is an algaecide and in some very rare cases might be of some use but should really be avoided if possible. However, copper sulfate is very cheap so it's a very high profit item for manufacturers so they push it!


    Hope this is helpful/
    Good to know, and the one I didn't look up. It didn't occur to me it would have copper. Stupid copper!
    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

  17. Back To Top    #17
    victoria4504's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Good Morning and Thank You Everyone for all the useful info!

    Tested the water this morning and here are the results:

    FC - 5.5
    CC - 0

    The water is still a bit cloudy. What is my next step?

    Vicky
    8,300 gallon AG printed vinyl pool, Lomart Spectra 4 w/6 Position Valve 17" Sand Filter, Magnetek HP 1.0 SPL (60 GPM) Pump, Baltimore, MD

  18. Back To Top    #18
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    Well, the fact you still have chlorine is a good sign, the cloudyiness, not so much....

    Keep the FC up, but just use the bleach - did you use the cal-hypo? Keep the filter going, brush, brush brush, and hopefully it will clear. Without your good kit, it's hard to say. So just keep the FC up until then.
    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
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    What I meant to say was if it drops down, add more bleach. For now it's fine.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20
    victoria4504's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help?

    These are the results of my good kit. I received the TF-100 test kit yesterday. I used the cal-hypo (Shock & Swim) last night. I have some dirt/stuff in the bottom of the pool so I'll vacuum today to see if that helps with the cloudiness. Usually when I vacuum the pool I backwash the filter after. Is this okay?

    Thanks,
    Vicky
    8,300 gallon AG printed vinyl pool, Lomart Spectra 4 w/6 Position Valve 17" Sand Filter, Magnetek HP 1.0 SPL (60 GPM) Pump, Baltimore, MD

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