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Thread: First weeks with new pool

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    sfbayjay's Avatar
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    First weeks with new pool

    Greetings all - so happy I found this website! I am the proud new owner of a Florida pool home in Clearwater/St. Pete. Details re. the pool and equipment are in my signature. I took ownership of the home 2 weeks ago and we are just now moving in so I am focusing on getting the pool into shape for what I hope will be a great summer season in our new spot!

    This home sat vacant for several months while it was on the market with the pool maintained by some pool company. From what I can tell, they stopped by every now and then to empty baskets and dump in some stuff, reportedly algaecide of unknown variety, but the PRIMARY source of chlorine for the past several months has been 3" tabs (trichloro-s-triazinetrione). There is no automatic chlorine dispenser in the system.

    I am waiting for my Taylor K-2006 test kit to arrive in the next couple of days so I can start doing my own testing. Up to now I've been taking water samples into our local Pinch-a-Penny every 4 or 5 days to keep an eye on things, supplementing that information with simple OTO chlorine and pH readings. My OTO chlorine readings seem to be matching the store's data pretty closely.

    Biggest issue I seem to have is elevated CYA level, around 100 ppm according to 3 separate pool store tests conducted about 5 days apart. First pool-store test, about 14 days ago, showed chlorine at 10 ppm. At their suggestion, I removed the floating chlorine dispenser and tabs from the pool and bought some 10.5% liquid chlorine. I've been watching the chlorine levels slowly drop. The pH has remained fairly steady.

    Here's my latest set of data from pool store:

    FC 5.0
    CC not tested
    pH 7.5
    TA 100
    CH 400
    CYA 100
    TDS 1300

    They are encouraging me to shock the pool weekly with 1.1 gallons of their 10.5% chlorine, then wait 24 hours and add 4 oz of "All in One Algaecide". Between weekly shocks, I'm advised to maintain chlorine levels at around 4 or 5 ppm using liquid chlorine additions.

    When I asked whether to drain and replace some portion of the pool water to reduce CYA, they said it wasn't a big deal and it would slowly drop via evaporation, splash-out, and rainwater dilution over the summer. I also asked if I should be running my chlorine at a higher level due to high CYA and they said "no."

    so I'm perplexed - I have read here on the forum that I should run with higher FC if my CYA levels are high, but then I think the forum does not advise weekly shock treatments - perhaps these two approaches offset? In other words: does running with high CYA, lower FC AND a weekly "shock" yield similar results to lower CYA, lower FC and NO weekely shock?

    Any advice appreciated and welcome as I begin routine management of this pool. For what it's worth, the water is crystal clear at the moment after a thorough brushing and vacuuming a couple of days ago.
    Pool: 12,000-gal IG Diamond-Brite, Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Filter: Pentair FNS Plus Fiberglass DE FNSP 36
    Pump: Sta-Rite SuperMax HP Single-Speed, 1 HP
    Skimmer: Pentair Pac-Fab "SkimClean"

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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    Welcome! We are very glad to have you here.
    It's great that you have a good test kit on the way. That is going to be your #1 investment in getting your pool into good shape.
    Bob - INTEX 12x24 owner (not setup yet), 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    Since you don't have the kit yet, you really don't know what you have going on. If you were to believe the pool $tore numbers you would need to replace around 50% of the water right away. This is so you can get your CYA down to a manageable level. We don't place a very high value on $tore testing so I would suggest that you keep the tabs out of the pool, continue to maintain your FC at 10 or even 12.
    Then as soon as you get your test kit in do a full set of tests and post the numbers. From there we can get you on the right track.
    Bob - INTEX 12x24 owner (not setup yet), 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    Welcome to the forum! You are going to learn a lot here. Number 1, quit going to the pool store. They just want your money. Number 2, start reading pool school, Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart are a great place to start.

    Glad you have the Taylor kit on the way, it will be invaluable. For CYA of 100, you need to keep FC between 11 and 13 and NEVER below 8 per the Chlorine/CYA chart link above. When you get your test kit, run a full set of tests including a dilution CYA test(See #9 Pool School - CYA) and post numbers here. There are plenty of smart people on here that want to help you out.

    Welcome again!
    310 gallon Tiger River Sumatran Spa, covered, standalone, fiberglass, Bleach
    11,000 gallon in-ground plaster pool, Hayward SmartFilter 550 (cartridge), CompuPool(Hayward) T-15 SWG, Hayward Super II pump
    Taylor Test Kit K-2006C, K-1766, SampleSizer, SpeedStir, Polaris P825

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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    Some suggested reading would be to start with Pool School up at the top of the page. There you will learn what TFP is all about and some further reading to do, including The ABCs of pool chemistry.
    Bob - INTEX 12x24 owner (not setup yet), 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    sfbayjay's Avatar
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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    Wow! Thanks for the quick replies. Since I don't really trust the pool stores numbers for cya, I suppose I will go ahead and bump the free chlorine levels up by adding some 10.5% liquid chlorine. My question is, how much chlorine is too much to swim in? I have an inkling that the pool will see some use this coming weekend and I just want to be running at a safe level.

    Thanks for the advice on testing and reading. I will do both and post some new numbers soon.
    Pool: 12,000-gal IG Diamond-Brite, Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Filter: Pentair FNS Plus Fiberglass DE FNSP 36
    Pump: Sta-Rite SuperMax HP Single-Speed, 1 HP
    Skimmer: Pentair Pac-Fab "SkimClean"

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    Here is the chart for you. Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart For now act as if your CYA is only 100 (I bet it is even higher). You can safely swim if the FC is just under the SLAM (Shock) level for CYA of 100. So long as your FC is under 39 you can swim! CANNON BALL!!!!

    How does your water look?

    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: First weeks with new pool

    Thanks for the reply, Kim! Glad to know that I can safely swim even with FC up around 10. That's what I'll shoot for at the moment, until my test kit arrives and I can get some better numbers to go by.

    In the meantime, water looks great - super clear. Attaching pic of deep end (6 feet) and you can see the bottom drain cover quite well.IMG_20170309_152230.jpg
    Pool: 12,000-gal IG Diamond-Brite, Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Filter: Pentair FNS Plus Fiberglass DE FNSP 36
    Pump: Sta-Rite SuperMax HP Single-Speed, 1 HP
    Skimmer: Pentair Pac-Fab "SkimClean"

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    You got sooooo lucky!!! We will get you fixed right up easy!

    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: First weeks with new pool

    Okay, well I hope I did this right. I added 68 ounces of 10.5% chlorine to my 11000 gallon pool. I'm hoping to bring the free chlorine reading up from 5 to around 10. Added chlorine slowly in front of a return jet with the pump running, then brushed the pool just to make sure things get well mixed. How long do I need to leave the pump on? Usually it shuts off overnight.
    Pool: 12,000-gal IG Diamond-Brite, Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Filter: Pentair FNS Plus Fiberglass DE FNSP 36
    Pump: Sta-Rite SuperMax HP Single-Speed, 1 HP
    Skimmer: Pentair Pac-Fab "SkimClean"

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    You did it just right! Good job! I let my pump run for about 30 mins after I add the chlorine. I do wait until the sun is off the pool to give the FC every chance to do what it needs to do.

    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: First weeks with new pool

    I'm about to head over and check on the pool this morning (we haven't moved in to new house yet) after chlorine addition yesterday evening. It occurs to me that I have no way to really measure chlorine above 5 ppm since my Taylor K-2006 test kit has not yet arrived in the mail. Maybe I'll have to take another sample down to Pinch-a-Penny just to see where things stand?

    Also, a related question - will pH measurements be thrown off when chlorine levels are running higher, say around 10-12 ppm? Can I still use my el-cheapo OTO/pH test kit to measure pH at this point? If not, will the Taylor test kit handle pH readings at higher chlorine levels?

    I assume I'll be doing some water replacement to drop CYA levels, but I'm holding off on that until I can get an accurate reading with new kit, hopefully soon!
    Pool: 12,000-gal IG Diamond-Brite, Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Filter: Pentair FNS Plus Fiberglass DE FNSP 36
    Pump: Sta-Rite SuperMax HP Single-Speed, 1 HP
    Skimmer: Pentair Pac-Fab "SkimClean"

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    No PH tester will test good with the FC over 10 it is what it is.

    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: First weeks with new pool

    Hmmm, OK. I see that my minimum FC would be around 8 assuming CYA of 100. Could I get a fair pH reading then?

    Still wondering how to monitor FC levels between now and the time new test kit arrives. Pool store testing?
    Pool: 12,000-gal IG Diamond-Brite, Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Filter: Pentair FNS Plus Fiberglass DE FNSP 36
    Pump: Sta-Rite SuperMax HP Single-Speed, 1 HP
    Skimmer: Pentair Pac-Fab "SkimClean"

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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    At 8, you could get a good reading, but remember, 8 is the absolute minimum FC you should allow. Anything below that allows bacteria and algae to get a foothold. You always want to try and ensure that your pool never drops below that number.

    Meanwhile, do the best you can with what you have. If in doubt, add a little more bleach than you think you need - before I got my TF-100 when moving into my house, I took a guess and added more than I needed to keep the pool sanitary while I waited. Don't forget you can use PoolMath to estimate what you'd need to jump from 8 to a bit above your target each day, and just do that until the testing kit arrives.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    Quote Originally Posted by triptyx View Post
    ...use PoolMath to estimate what you'd need to jump from 8 to a bit above your target each day, and just do that until the testing kit arrives.
    Thanks - that's a great suggestion. I'll just assume for now that FC is dropping to around 8 ppm every 24 hours and add enough chlorine to bring it back to around 11 ppm in the evenings until test kit arrives. Is it reasonable to assume a 2 - 3 ppm drop in FC every day?
    Pool: 12,000-gal IG Diamond-Brite, Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Filter: Pentair FNS Plus Fiberglass DE FNSP 36
    Pump: Sta-Rite SuperMax HP Single-Speed, 1 HP
    Skimmer: Pentair Pac-Fab "SkimClean"

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    That is a good starting point for right now. Better to go a little higher and stop any algae in it's track!

    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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    sfbayjay's Avatar
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    Unhappy Re: First weeks with new pool

    Ran my first set of tests using newly acquired Taylor K-2006 kit. Results are below, and a bit surprising. I'm not completely confident in the results since it was my first go with the test kit, but I did follow the instructions carefully and did a bit of reading here on TFP before getting started.

    FC 16.5 (ran this test twice to be sure)
    CC 0-0.5 (one test said 0, the other 0.5)
    pH 7.7
    TA 100
    CH 410
    CYA 170

    I did the FC test with a 10-mL sample since I knew the result would likely be quite high. I used 2 "scoops" of powder to turn the sample pink - I'm confused about this since the test instructions said to use 2 scoops for either the 10-mL or the 25-mL sample option. Hopefully I did this right.

    The pH value I know is probably wrong due to elevated FC.

    The one I'm most bummed about is the CYA number - this is way higher than what I was getting from samples I took to the pool store. I ran the test with a dilution - the 7-mL test sample was a 50/50 blend of pool water and tap water. Otherwise I ran the test as instructed, then doubled the resulting CYA value. Hopefully I did that right. All of this seems to point for a need to drain the pool by a large percentage - something I'm kind of terrified to do. I've read so many stories about pools "popping" out of the ground, or issues with the plaster, or cave-ins. Ugh - I'm not sure what to do.

    Finally, I'm confused by the elevated FC number, since I did some careful math to come up with liquid chlorine additions over the past couple of days. On Thursday I started from a (pool store) measurement of 5 ppm, then added 68 oz of 10.5% chlorine. On Friday, I added another 34 oz. According to my math, that should have given a maximum increase of about 7.5 ppm FC, which would have given me 12.5 ppm max, not the 16.5 ppm I measured today. Only thing I can think of is that my estimation of the pool's volume is WAY off. I'll have to look into this.

    Any obvious problems with how I did the testing? Comments re. how to address CYA and FC levels at this stage? Any help appreciated.
    Pool: 12,000-gal IG Diamond-Brite, Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Filter: Pentair FNS Plus Fiberglass DE FNSP 36
    Pump: Sta-Rite SuperMax HP Single-Speed, 1 HP
    Skimmer: Pentair Pac-Fab "SkimClean"

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: First weeks with new pool

    We will work with your numbers one at a time.

    You are correct about your CYA. It is too high You are going to have to replace some of your water. I DO understand the fear of lower too much at one time. You can do it one of two ways:

    -a couple/few water changes. This will take longer but will make sure your pool stays safe.

    -a one time drain BUT leaving some of the water in the pool. We will use Pool Math to see how much.

    Now lets work on finding out the true size of your pool now that you have a good test kit. Let the FC drift down to 9. Once it does then use the PH test to find your pool size.

    Say your PH is at 7.8. Use Pool Math (in my siggy below) to find out how much muriatic acid to add to get your PH down to 7.6. Use the gallons you have listed now. Add the acid and let the pump run for about 30 mins or so with a brushing to help mix it all up.

    IF your PH is higher than it should be then you know your pool is bigger than you thought. Adjust your gallons by 500 gallons and do it again. Keep doing it until you dial in your size.

    Once you have the gallons dialed then we will move on to draining and removing the CYA.

    While you do all of this call your water and sewer place and see what you can do to not have to pay for the sewer fee and where you can put a *few* gallons of water

    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: First weeks with new pool

    Thanks for the idea re. determining actual pool volume. I had thought about that, but I wasn't sure if my pH testing would have sufficient accuracy, or if other things in the water might have an impact on the overall pH change for a given acid addition.

    Today I ran a quick re-check of chlorine levels and I was surprised to find that after about 48 hours there has been no measurable change. FC results are still 16.5 ppm, same as what I measured mid-day on Sat.

    Makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong with the test! 10 ml sample, add 2 scoops of powder and swirl for about a minute to dissolve, then add and count drops while swirling. I still can't tell after re-reading test instructions if I should be using 1 scoop of DPD powder or 2 for the smaller 10-mL sample size.
    Pool: 12,000-gal IG Diamond-Brite, Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Filter: Pentair FNS Plus Fiberglass DE FNSP 36
    Pump: Sta-Rite SuperMax HP Single-Speed, 1 HP
    Skimmer: Pentair Pac-Fab "SkimClean"

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