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Thread: Please welcome another pool newbie

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    Please welcome another pool newbie

    Hey guys,
    Ok - so I rented a home beginning June 1 that has a pool. The landlord, who was in a rush to get out of the country, gave me about a 20 minute tutorial with such amazing advice as "You never need to test the water, just drop a chlorine puck in each skimmer basket every week or two."

    Anyway, I have had a laundry list of issues arise - so I'll start from the beginning and hopefully get some good feedback.

    1) about a week ago the multi-port valve had a bad gasket and water ended up leaking out the waste line 1 night - which led to the water dropping below the skimmers - which led to the pump sucking air.
    2) after adding more water into the pool and replacing the gasket - it worked better, but I noticed that the pump's skimmer basket was churning water now instead of it being flat inside the cover. Also, it seems that the filter pressure is lower then it used to be. I'd say down 7 - 8 psi from where I remember it being.
    3) It seems that while the pump ran dry it may have heated up and warped the plumbing going into and out of the pump - as I have noticed water leaking out from around these connections. Does that sound plausible? And could this be part of problem #2?
    4) While backwashing the filter and moving the multi port valve around it seems that it has caused the new gasket to become stretched on one of the spokes, and issue #1 occurred again.

    Anyway, I am having the multi port valve replaced, as well as the 3 valves on the suction lines (2 skimmers 1 main drain) as I found stripped machine screws holding them together.

    On top of that whole air in the system issue...3 days ago I found my pool had turned green. So much for the just putting a chlorine puck every other week. However, to make a long story short I just got the Taylor test kit today and these are my levels:

    FC - 11 ppm
    CC - 0 ppm
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 70 ppm
    CH - 180 ppm
    CA - ~60 ppm

    I know I'm close on some tests to where I want to be, and way off on others. Anyway, I just wanted to drop a line here and hopefully get some feedback to keep me motivated because right now this pool and I seem to be in a battle. Also, I would love to hear suggestions about anything you can think to tell me.
    Also, I am having a party next Saturday - what are the chances you guys think I can have this beast tamed in a week? Currently the water is clear colorwise, but cloudy enough that I just barely can't see the bottom of the deep end. Do I need to keep the shock level going, or should I let the FC level come back down?
    Thanks!
    Wesley

    1) ~60,000 Gallons
    2) Sand Filter
    3) In-Ground Pool
    4) Plaster/Concrete bottom

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    Hey, Wes,

    Welcome! 60k is a hugh, hugepool. Make sure that's correct as it will affect your calculations in the future.

    Your thinking that the pump running dry has caused your mechancial issues is probably correct. A dry pump can generate a tremendous amount of heat and ruin itself as well as pvc attached to it.

    YOur chemistry numbers are not that bad. Which ones do you think are way off? I don't see any.

    To get your pool clear you need to get your chlorine back up to around 24ppm and hold it there 24/7 until your pool is clear. It may take another few days but the process is done the fastest by holding your chlorine at 24ppm (that's based on your CYA of 60ppm)
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    Welcome to TFP!

    The real question is how bad is the pump and do you need to replace it. Modern pumps warp and melt when the run dry. Anything beyond some very mild overheating and you will need to replace the pump.

    Assuming the pump is alright, yes you can probably get the pool cleaned up in a week, assuming nothing else goes wrong.

    With CYA at 60, you should be shocking to an FC level of about 20-24. See How to Shock Your Pool
    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

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    Wesley, welcome to TFP!!

    You seem to be on the right course It certainly seems that you already had some experience with pools or picked up the info from Pool School VERY quickly 8)

    Dave and Jason have pretty much told you what's going on and what to expect to have to do

    I really don't see any problem with having the pool ready to swim in by next weekend

    Ask any questions you have as you address the issues and we'll get you there

    Congrats on finding us and knowing that this is THE site to get quality answers to your pool questions

    & THANK YOU!! for the sig and address info (so many newbies don't realize the importance ) - You're off to a great start!
    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!)

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    Thanks for the quick replies guys!

    Dave - Yep...this pool is rather large. The landlord claims 65,000 gallons, but I spoke with the contractor who built it (my next door neighbor) and he said it was more like 55,000 - 65,000 depending on the water level. I was thinking my pH and my CH were definitely low, at least according to the recommended levels from the pool school section. I was also thinking my CYA (or as I called it earlier my CA) was also a little high.

    Jason - I don't think the pump was ruined. The motor still runs fine, and I cracked it open thinking for sure the seal would need to be replaced. Surprisingly, the seal looked fine - but I replaced it just in case. I also replaced the O ring that sits on the cone of the diffuser because it looked pretty worn. I intend to get started on bringing that FC level up to 24 as soon as the sun sets a little more.

    Ted - believe it or not I have no experience on pools. Though dealing with these issues and reading through every online article or forum I could find, I picked up on a lot. However, nothing really made sense until I read through Pool School for a third time. Even today when my test kit arrived, I thought I was going to need a masters in Chemistry to get it working. I truly am glad I found this site and on complete accident too. Thanks to TF Test Kits for leading me here.

    Alright, off to add some bleach!
    Thanks!
    Wesley

    1) ~60,000 Gallons
    2) Sand Filter
    3) In-Ground Pool
    4) Plaster/Concrete bottom

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    Wes,

    Without an SWG, 60ppm CYA is fine....just a touch on the high side but leave it alone.

    Same with pH and TA....a touch on the low side but within an acceptable range and I wouldn't mess with it.

    After your water is crystal clear (only if you keep you FC up around 24 constantly), you may want to tweak things a little bit but for now, I would simply focus on the FC and clearing the pool. Be patient....it may go just a little slower than you wish. As I said earlier, holding that high FC will hasten the process.

    PS - did I mention keeping high FC in the pool often enough?

    Your shocking process will be complete when....

    1. Your pool water is sparkling
    2. Your CC's are .5ppm or less
    3. You can hold your FC overnight without losing more than 1ppm.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    Just wanted to say "Welcome!"
    WV Girl

    Custom "L" shape IG gunite pool, 36K gal., main drain, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, hayward heat pump, hayward 1.5hp pump with booster pump, ozonator, 4 cartridge filter.
    one dear hubby, two waterlogged kids, and lots of good times!

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    Thanks WV Girl.

    Ok, so I added 5 187oz bottles of Clorox Bleach about 3 hours ago and I just tested my water again.

    FC - 21ppm
    CC - 0 ppm
    pH - 7.8
    TA - 70 ppm
    CH - 180 ppm
    CYA - 70 ppm

    It looks like the big things that changed were my FC and pH levels. Is it normal for pH to jump that high by introducing the high levels of chlorine?

    Thoughts?

    Thanks guys!
    Thanks!
    Wesley

    1) ~60,000 Gallons
    2) Sand Filter
    3) In-Ground Pool
    4) Plaster/Concrete bottom

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    With your chlorine that high, you can't trust the pH test (high cl shows the pH as a 'false high')

    As long as your pH was good before you added the chlorine, all is fine - just don't trust your pH readings until the cl gets below ~10 ppm 8)
    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!)

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    Wes,

    Don't waste your reagents testing the other parameters when you're shocking. All you need to test is FC until your pool is clear and then FC and TC to see if you have completed the shock process.

    Keep your FC up around 24ppm....all the time.....you will need more tomorrow AM.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11
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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    Hi wespendarvis,

    You have gotten good advice!

    When you are shocking your pool, you only need to test for FC & CC. Brushing the pool will also help.

    You might want to try skimmer socks/screens if you don't already use them. They will collect tons of gunk that you might not even ever see in the pool! I buy mine at WallyWorld.

    Your CYA will drop over the summer when you backwash the filter. No need to test it more than once a month.

    Once the shocking is done and things are back to maintenance level, you should raise your CH up to between 250-350.

    Welcome to the forum
    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.

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  12. Back To Top    #12
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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    I just wanted to pop in and say welcome....

    I recommend you discontinue use of the pucks - if you haven't considered that....they lower PH and raise CYA. Pucks should never be put in the skimmer, not that it caused the damage you described but you never know....the acid from the pucks, sitting in the skimmer while the pump is off can wreak havoc on your equipment....

    You don't want your CYA any higher and I suspect your PH is actually low based on the FC levels you have posted. When the FC drops below 10, retest the PH and adjust to 7.5 if it's below 7.2. For daily chlorination, stick with bleach or liquid chlorine.

    Other than that, enjoy your HUGE pool and hope the filter/pump situation is all worked 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

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    The first post gave pH 7.2, TA 70, CH 180, CYA 60. At any reasonable temperature, the CSI is really low; with temp 80, CSI is -.67. This is a plaster pool, the CSI has to come up.

    CH should be brought up, and pH (once the shocking process is over) should be kept in the 7.5-7.8 range, not 7.2.
    --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

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    one last update before I head to bed....
    I know many people were on the edge of their seat for this one, but I finally got the FC level to 24 ppm. Now, to get some hard earned rest and wake up in the morning only to add more.

    Goodnight everyone, and thanks again for the advice and encouragement!
    Thanks!
    Wesley

    1) ~60,000 Gallons
    2) Sand Filter
    3) In-Ground Pool
    4) Plaster/Concrete bottom

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    UPDATE

    Ok...so I had new plumbing laid into and out of the pump and a new multi port valve installed. That seemed to re-establish prime and I am no longer getting air in the system. WOO HOO! For anyone in the Northern Virginia area, Hawaiian Pools and Spas really have done amazing work for me and I highly recommend them.

    Anyway...
    My FC tests have been jumping around wildly. It will be at 25 or so, and 2 hours later it will have dropped to 19 or 20. Is this normal burn off, or is there something more at play here? The water in the shallow end looks much clearer today. I can also now see the main drain at the bottom of the deep end, but the deep end is still not as clear as I would like it. Any guidance? I'm guessing keep the shock going at 24.

    Next issue. I found a Polaris 180 that the landlord said was broken. Well I got her up and running today, just needed a new quick disconnect valve. Anyway, I let it run for a few hours and then cleaned its cage. Well, I found quite a bit of sand caught in the bag...which I am guessing can't be good. Is it "normal" for sand to get into the pool if the multi port valve was broken, or is this most likely a new filter in the making?

    Now for a couple of newb questions:
    1) While I am shocking the pool, I want to keep my filter going, right? I have read conflicting reports about whether or not the filter should be running while shocking, or if it should just be on recirculation.

    2) This is probably in pool school somewhere, but I just can't seem to find it. In response to Paul's post, how do I raise my CSI? Is that the result of bringing the CH up and keeping a steady pH?

    Anyway, thanks again for all of the help!
    Thanks!
    Wesley

    1) ~60,000 Gallons
    2) Sand Filter
    3) In-Ground Pool
    4) Plaster/Concrete bottom

  16. Back To Top    #16
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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie



    So how bout a pic of this bohemoth!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    Here she is - the blue beast
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Thanks!
    Wesley

    1) ~60,000 Gallons
    2) Sand Filter
    3) In-Ground Pool
    4) Plaster/Concrete bottom

  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    That's a BIG pool!

    Nice too! It'll be even better once it sparkles! Keep shocking!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: UPDATE

    Quote Originally Posted by wespendarvis
    My FC tests have been jumping around wildly. It will be at 25 or so, and 2 hours later it will have dropped to 19 or 20. Is this normal burn off, or is there something more at play here?
    While trying to clear a pool, this sort of drop is fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by wespendarvis
    I'm guessing keep the shock going at 24.
    Sounds right.
    Quote Originally Posted by wespendarvis
    1) While I am shocking the pool, I want to keep my filter going, right? I have read conflicting reports about whether or not the filter should be running while shocking, or if it should just be on recirculation.
    Uh, yeah, filter. Recirc while shocking to kill organics doesn't make sense. Recirc when it's known to be just ammonia, okay, but not for algae.
    Quote Originally Posted by wespendarvis
    2) This is probably in pool school somewhere, but I just can't seem to find it. In response to Paul's post, how do I raise my CSI? Is that the result of bringing the CH up and keeping a steady pH?
    CSI has many factors. Play around in the Pool Calculator to see what levels work. You probably want your CH more like 300 and your pH up at 7.5, although you won't be able to test pH accurately until you're done shocking and FC falls below 10.
    --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

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Please welcome another pool newbie

    Wes,

    I suggest you disregard CSI while you are learning and clearing your pool.

    Your pool can sparkle if you will simply keep the parameters which you test within acceptable ranges. I do not see anything in your numbers that would indicate calcium precipitation.

    Like borates, CSI is an optional thing that can and does help some people. I have never used it in 6 years and I have not had a need to. Simply keep your parameters within the guidelines suggested
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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