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Thread: New pool owner and I need help!

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    New pool owner and I need help!

    We recently installed a new 33' above ground pool. We had 3 truckloads of water brought in (about 4,500 gallons) and then filled the rest with our garden hose. The pool currently looks very much like lake water. I've watched the video the pool place provided (at least three times), read all the materials they supplied, read the pool school information on this site (several times), and browsed the forum. Even with all this information, I am unsure about what to do next. I have done the following:

    1. After pool was done filling we turned the pump on and let it run overnight (added nothing)
    2. Tested pool water - the next morning (pool store)
    CYA: 0
    FC:0
    TC: 0
    pH: 8.3
    TA: 308
    Hardness: 400
    Iron: .6
    3. Added Bioguard scale inhibitor - recommended by pool store (not the same place we bought the pool)
    4. Waited an hour then added 3 lbs of pH minus
    5. Waited until early evening then shocked with "blast - Postassium Monopersulfate" supplied with pool
    6. Tested pool 2 hours later (only have test strips at this point) and ph and TA were both still high so I added 4 lbs of pH minus
    7. This morning tested the pool again (with test strips) and the results are as follows:
    CYA: 0
    FC:0
    pH: ~8.0
    TA: ~240+
    8. Added the last of the pH minus that I had on hand (~ 3 lbs)
    9. Waited two hours and tested again
    CYA: 0
    FC:0
    pH: ~7.8
    TA: ~240+

    I don't know what to do next. At this point, I have added no chlorine. Should I continue to work on the pH and TA or should I add chlorine?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!!!
    ~24,000 gallons
    Sand filter (zeosand)
    AG Pool

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    Re: New pool owner and I need help!

    The strips aren't necessarily all that reliable; you need a proper test kit. The ones we recommend on the forum are the Taylor K-2006 (available online) which is also sold by Leslie's as the FAS-DPD Service Kit (but typically not stocked in the stores), and then there's the TF100 from tftestkits.net. There are other decent kits on the market but these two are the only ones with the FAS-DPD chlorine test, which is pretty much required if you ever have to bring your chlorine level above 5ppm. They also include the CYA (cyanuric acid, aka stabilizer) test, which you need in order to determine the proper FC level. The other tests are commonly available in other kits.

    You are probably having trouble with pH because of the very high TA. You'll likely need a bunch more acid (muriatic acid, at hardware/lowes/home-depot type places, or pH Down from the pool store). Go play with the pool calculator to see how much you need. Try not to let the pH go below 7.2.

    You can put in chlorine, but it won't last (gets burned off by the sun) until you get some CYA in there. So for now, add chlorine (like 1 jug of Clorox) in the evening so it will have a chance to work overnight, and get some CYA in there pronto.

    As long as the FC stays under 10, you'll be able to keep working on the pH/TA issues. FC over 10 will start making the pH test unreliable. But there's no evidence (yet) that you need a high chlorine level, so this should be okay.
    --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: New pool owner and I need help!

    1. Bring your pH down to 7.4 with muriatic acid......use Jason's calculator in my sig to figure how much to add.

    2. Add enough CYA to your pool to get to 30-40ppm....purchase it at Walmart/HD/ Lowe's......not the pool store.

    4. Put in enough chlorine to bring your FC up to around 8ppm this evening.

    5. Are you testing your water or is the pool store?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New pool owner and I need help!

    Thank you so much for the advice. The original test numbers posted were numbers from the pool store. They tested for free but do make you feel that you need to purchase their products. The other test results were my tests using strips (which I know aren't the best method but it is what I currently have)

    I used the pool calculator earlier and went and bought the muriatic acid - I will go add this. I was just waiting on the order to tackle the problem.

    How long should I wait after adding the acid to add the CYA?

    I have the chlorine and will add that this evening.

    I will have to test the water the water tomorrow since the pool store is not open. I will try to have the pool store test the water (Monday) until I can get one of the recommended test kits.

    Thank you again for all of the help. I really appreciate it. I am starting not to feel so overwhelmed.
    ~24,000 gallons
    Sand filter (zeosand)
    AG Pool

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    Re: New pool owner and I need help!

    If you have multiple returns, you can hang the CYA in a sock in front of one of them and pour the muriatic slowly in front of the other. If you have only one return, I'd do the muriatic first and then wait a bit (1/2 hr) to put in the CYA. Some people also put the CYA in a sock in the skimmer, which is okay as long as you run the pump 24x7 until it's all gone.
    --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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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner and I need help!

    Hi jdlr1012,

    You have gotten great information!

    Just some FYI.......

    Don't add muriatic acid and bleach/liquid chlorine too close together.
    I generally add muriatic acid in the mornings and always dose my pool with bleach/liquid chlorine in the evenings.
    Therefore, I have no problem of adding them too close together.

    Don't store muriatic acid with your chlorine.
    Example: I store my bleach in the garage and the muriatic acid under the deck behind a brick pillar.
    It gets heat but not direct sun.

    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.

    ~ 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: New pool owner and I need help!

    If I added the muratic acid at 12:30 will I still be able to add the chlorine this evening or should I wait until tomorrow?
    ~24,000 gallons
    Sand filter (zeosand)
    AG Pool

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner and I need help!

    Yes, add chlorine this evening. Muriatic acid and chlorine don't interfere with each other.
    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: New pool owner and I need help!

    Above all, take care in handling the muriatic acid, or any acid for that matter. I prefer using the dry acids, as they are easier to handle, but seem to take longer to get the desired effects. Use protective rubber gloves and eye shields when handling the liquid.
    22,000 gallon ig vinyl solar heated (panels and cover) zeolite filtrate

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner and I need help!

    Welcome to the forum. However you decide to add the CYA - sock in front of the return or sock in the skimmer, keep the pump running while it dissolves and then keep it running for a full 24 hours after it has dissolved from the sock - and then wait about 5-6 days to test for the CYA. It takes that long for it to fully dissolve and register.

    I second the above advice - either a TF 100 from TFTestkits.net or the K-2006 by Taylor. With your own kit, you'll save a ton of money on pool store chems you don't need because you won't feel pressured or convinced to buy their unneccessary chems.
    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: New pool owner and I need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Muriatic acid and chlorine don't interfere with each other.
    Uh, well, not once they're in the pool and nicely mixed. You don't want them in contact outside the pool (chlorine gas, nasty nasty), and it's probably safest to let one circulate a while before adding the other.
    --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

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner and I need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Muriatic acid and chlorine don't interfere with each other.
    Uh, well, not once they're in the pool and nicely mixed. You don't want them in contact outside the pool (chlorine gas, nasty nasty), and it's probably safest to let one circulate a while before adding the other.
    --paulr
    Yep. I was almost overwhelmed by fumes one day when they were added too close together!

    I think it is important to give new pool owners safe handling/use info!
    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: New pool owner and I need help!

    Update - I followed the advice given yesterday and tested the water this morning (using the test strips). The best I can tell the numbers are as follows:

    Total Hardness: 400
    FC: one test said 3 the other 5 (I followed the pool calculator and added enough chlorine to bring this to 8 as suggested)
    pH: 7.8 (might be slightly lower)
    TA: 240+ (the color that shows does not appear on the color chart so I assume it is higher than the top number given)
    CYA: This one is hard to tell. I would say somewhere between 10-30.

    I will take a sample to the pool store tomorrow to get a more accurate reading.

    Any suggestions on what I should do today?
    ~24,000 gallons
    Sand filter (zeosand)
    AG Pool

  14. Back To Top    #14
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner and I need help!

    Without more reliable test results, we really can't advise you....it would just be guessing.
    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: New pool owner and I need help!

    Assuming your water is very clear, I would put a small jug of clorox in each evening until you can get reliable test results. Then we can get you started down a good path.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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