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Thread: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

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    hepmama's Avatar
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    Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Long story short, I am taking over pool care after the death of my husband last month. The amazingly patient Leebo has been assisting me via PM for awhile (thank you, Lee!). I have a ton to learn because this was my husbandís domain - he had been using this website for the past 2.5 years. I can empty the skimmers and pool vac, and can also empty the pump basket. The chemistry and the equipment are a mystery to me. Iíve been trying to learn about PoolMath and the beginner post has been very helpful, too. Itís just going to take awhile for it all to sink in, I think!

    We have the TF-100 kit as well as a sodium chloride test kit and some borate strips (those expire this month, should I get more?)

    I tested the FC yesterday and it was 10 ppm. The pH is 7.8 according to the basic test. Iíve been using liquid chlorine (bleach), last added on 2/22. Acid was added on 2/20 to lower the pH from 8.2. Pretty sure the SWG is turned down to zero right now. Not sure when to turn that back on.

    What would you all recommend I do next?

    Let me know what information you need and I thank you in advance!
    Clueless in Dallas
    12000 Gal inground PebbleTec pool with waterfall and rock/tile waterline
    Jandy Aquapure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy DEL48 DE Filter, Jandy Heater, Polaris 280 vacuum

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    So far you're doing great. If it isn't broken don't fix it. What did you lower the pH to? How often are you testing? When the water starts getting warmer, you'll turn on the SWCG, or you can turn it on now and not add bleach. How often are you testing? I know my pool and test every couple weeks, add/adjust as needed.

    Can you run a complete set of test and post the results? It will give us more info to help.
    Murrieta, CA. 15K (Est) pool/spa. Hayward Tristar SP3220EE 2.70HP pump, Hayward Swimclear Cartridge filter C4025 425sqft (PA106), Pentair Mastertemp 400 heater. TF-100/Speedstir

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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    When that water temp hits 60, it's time to fire up the SWG. Now probably with the warm weather we've had! You'll need salt levels at what is required for it ( around 3,000) and a CYA level of 70 or 80.
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    hepmama's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Quote Originally Posted by bobodaclown View Post
    So far you're doing great. If it isn't broken don't fix it. What did you lower the pH to? How often are you testing? When the water starts getting warmer, you'll turn on the SWCG, or you can turn it on now and not add bleach. How often are you testing? I know my pool and test every couple weeks, add/adjust as needed.

    Can you run a complete set of test and post the results? It will give us more info to help.
    pH is 7.8 now. I am doing basic test every 2-3 days, but would like to do daily. I'm thinking the complete test kit I could do weekly.

    I will work on the complete set of tests and post back.

    Thank you so much!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp View Post
    When that water temp hits 60, it's time to fire up the SWG. Now probably with the warm weather we've had! You'll need salt levels at what is required for it ( around 3,000) and a CYA level of 70 or 80.
    Yes, it has been so warm. Today is chilly again, but it won't last. I will check the water temp today and also do the other tests and report back.

    Thank you so much for the help!
    Clueless in Dallas
    12000 Gal inground PebbleTec pool with waterfall and rock/tile waterline
    Jandy Aquapure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy DEL48 DE Filter, Jandy Heater, Polaris 280 vacuum

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Welcome to TFP!

    Testing pH and FC daily or every few days is fine. The rest of the tests weekly is good for a little while to get comfortable with the tests and how the pool reacts, but monthly is fine for CH and CYA. You might want to do TA every other week or three until you get a handle on it.
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    Testing pH and FC daily or every few days is fine. The rest of the tests weekly is good for a little while to get comfortable with the tests and how the pool reacts, but monthly is fine for CH and CYA. You might want to do TA every other week or three until you get a handle on it.
    Thank you for the welcome and info on test frequency!

    Okay, just tested, here's what I came up with:

    FC = 8
    CC = .5
    CH = 350
    TA = 90
    CYA = 60 (was in between 50 and 60, a bit closer to 60 than 50 so I put 60)
    Salt = 2600
    Borate = 50

    According to the salt cell controller thing, it says the temp is 63. Is that accurate enough? Or do I need to measure the temp in the pool itself?

    Let me know what y'all think!
    Clueless in Dallas
    12000 Gal inground PebbleTec pool with waterfall and rock/tile waterline
    Jandy Aquapure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy DEL48 DE Filter, Jandy Heater, Polaris 280 vacuum

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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Those numbers look good and you don't have too much to do.

    I would add 3 cups of acid soon to drop the pH to 7.5 but there is no harm being done now at 7.8.

    Depending on the model of SWG you might need to add one 40lb bag of salt. Make sure the SWG is off when you add the salt.

    I would let the FC drop to 6 and then turn on the SWG. We can help you get the right settings once we find out the brand name, size of cell and how many hours you run the pump each day.

    The pool should be warm enough to turn on the SWG on a low percentage, but first let the FC drop to 6.
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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    See........told ya they'll treat you right! You're doing great! Keep it up!!!!

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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    I'm just now catching-up on your thread and wanted to say .... "HEY!" Welcome to the wonderful world we call TFP. You're doing great so far, and I suspect your pool is very happy for your efforts. Great to have you on-line with us.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    HI! Very glad you decided to write on the main board! We love helping people!

    The one thing I will add to all of the above is for you to get a small notebook to keep your test results in. This will help you learn what your pool needs over time. It will make your pool even more Trouble Free! I even make a note of big weather events like big rain, very hot sun, cloudy day, etc. The more you know how your pool will react the faster you can fix it as needed.



    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Quote Originally Posted by ping View Post
    Those numbers look good and you don't have too much to do.

    I would add 3 cups of acid soon to drop the pH to 7.5 but there is no harm being done now at 7.8.

    Depending on the model of SWG you might need to add one 40lb bag of salt. Make sure the SWG is off when you add the salt.

    I would let the FC drop to 6 and then turn on the SWG. We can help you get the right settings once we find out the brand name, size of cell and how many hours you run the pump each day.

    The pool should be warm enough to turn on the SWG on a low percentage, but first let the FC drop to 6.
    I will do that acid tomorrow, thank you. I do think the salt is lower than my husband liked it to be, he seemed to like it between 3-4K I think. I do have a leaf cover on the pool right now so adding salt will be a pain if I do it the way he liked it done, which was dumping it in while walking along the edge so it's more spread out. Then we brushed it around a bit. The trees are currently dropping their pump-killing seed thingies so I am not ready to take the cover all the way off yet. Do you think it's okay to wait on the salt til I uncover the pool for the season? I am hoping maybe by the end of March or early April the trees will be finished with all that. As soon as they stop I will uncover it for sure. Otherwise if I really really need to add salt, I can unhook the cover most of the way and add it, then put it back on.

    I will get the details on the SWG - I know it's an AquaPure. I do seem to recall my husband saying he thought the cell might be going bad last year... so I may need to figure out how to tell if it's working or not. Ugh. As far as hours the pump runs? He had it set for just a couple of hours over the winter but it is more in the summer but I don't know how much more. How do I figure that out?

    Lee, you were right.

    Thank you Pat and Kim for the welcome. Kim, great idea on the notebook. I do have an Evernote note going on my computer/phone and adding major weather is a good idea. My husband had an excel spreadsheet I suspect came from here that I am adding the results to but I am a note taker so I have the Evernote going, too.

    Very nice of y'all to say it, but I don't know that I'm doing a great job. I'm just doing what y'all say so *you're* doing the great job. I need to get to the point where I know what to do on my own but that feels pretty far away right now! Baby steps.
    Clueless in Dallas
    12000 Gal inground PebbleTec pool with waterfall and rock/tile waterline
    Jandy Aquapure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy DEL48 DE Filter, Jandy Heater, Polaris 280 vacuum

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Firing up the SWG will greatly reduce the workload you'll need. Doing this as the temps warm up should be on your list of "to do's." That said with the cold water temp you're using very little bleach. In my eyes it really is up to you which youd prefer to use. We're here to help you and practice baby steps with every new member. We were all once new and know just how confusing pool care seemed to be. You'll find in short time though it really is a snap.

    Keep it up! Test your levels as you are and add as needed.

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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Okay, I will get a bag of salt and take the cover mostly off and add it (then put the cover back on). Also I will add the acid. I'll wait for the FC to hit 6 as ping suggests and then turn on the SWG. But it will need the salt, I guess, so might as well do that now, right?

    Here's another question: Should I wait between adding acid and salt - can I add them the same day? If so, how long to wait? And does the order matter? Is there a page here with info on order of adding stuff and wait times?
    Clueless in Dallas
    12000 Gal inground PebbleTec pool with waterfall and rock/tile waterline
    Jandy Aquapure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy DEL48 DE Filter, Jandy Heater, Polaris 280 vacuum

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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Your getting great advice, and doing great. Nothing to add except keep it up.
    Murrieta, CA. 15K (Est) pool/spa. Hayward Tristar SP3220EE 2.70HP pump, Hayward Swimclear Cartridge filter C4025 425sqft (PA106), Pentair Mastertemp 400 heater. TF-100/Speedstir

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Adding same day is fine. You don't need pool salt, regular solar salt, not pellets, is fine. Pool salt is just a finer grind, dissolves in 15 minutes vice 30.
    Murrieta, CA. 15K (Est) pool/spa. Hayward Tristar SP3220EE 2.70HP pump, Hayward Swimclear Cartridge filter C4025 425sqft (PA106), Pentair Mastertemp 400 heater. TF-100/Speedstir

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    hepmama's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Thanks, bobodaclown! I know exactly what salt you mean - I was usually the one who picked it up at Home Depot.
    Clueless in Dallas
    12000 Gal inground PebbleTec pool with waterfall and rock/tile waterline
    Jandy Aquapure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy DEL48 DE Filter, Jandy Heater, Polaris 280 vacuum

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    The only two additions to spread out is chlorine and muratic acid. They need 15 mins between them. They should also be stored away from each other. Muratic acid should be stored in a well ventilated area away from metal as the fumes could cause rust.

    You are doing great! I want you to make sure to ask ANY questions you might have no matter how small. Believe me one of us had the same question at one time!


    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    You're in good hands! Don't be scared to ask anything..
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    hepmama's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Kim, thank you for the info on spreading out acid and chlorine additions and also the storage information (I would not have known that). I really need all the details! I will probably ask some stupid questions so thank you for encouraging me to ask.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Pyrodav!
    Clueless in Dallas
    12000 Gal inground PebbleTec pool with waterfall and rock/tile waterline
    Jandy Aquapure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy DEL48 DE Filter, Jandy Heater, Polaris 280 vacuum

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    hepmama's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over pool care, don't know what I'm doing!

    Okay, added the 40 lbs of salt and 3 cups of acid. After 30 minutes, checked pH and it is now 7.5. I also checked FC and it is now 6. Pool temp is 60 degrees.

    Then I noticed that the filter gauge says "DIRTY" so I am finding the pictures I took of the backwash process and hope I can figure it out! Going to look for some YouTube help, too.

    Question: Is the backwash going to mess up anything in the pool chemistry when I do this? What should I be watching for, when to retest, etc.
    Clueless in Dallas
    12000 Gal inground PebbleTec pool with waterfall and rock/tile waterline
    Jandy Aquapure PLC1400 SWG, Jandy DEL48 DE Filter, Jandy Heater, Polaris 280 vacuum

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