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Thread: New pool owner, water balance advice needed

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    New pool owner, water balance advice needed

    Hello TFP community -

    I'm a excited new first time pool owner - bought a new home in Sep 2016 with a truly awesome pool. Had a pool service up until three months ago, until when the leaves and pollen became heavy, and the pool guy started showing up less and less frequently until one day he just quit showing up. Panicked, I went to the pool store, they sold me a case of dichlor shock and phosphate remover. Not knowing any better, I netted, vacuumed, and shocked the pool as per their instructions, the water did clear up, but knowing that I needed to learn about pools fast, found this site and realized I may just have screwed up big time. I've been slowly fixing my mistakes by only using 12% bleach, completely turned off the tablet chlorinator so as to not add any more CYA, started doing my own testing at home using a Taylor K-2006 test kit, the testing results have gradually improved but now it is time to start swimming and I need advice on the best course of action to get things normalized.

    So here are my measurements as of this morning:

    pH - 8.0
    TA - 180
    CH - 850
    CYA - 100 (down from almost 200 after I added the shock, thanks to some heavy rain)
    FC - 5
    CC - 0

    Any advice will be appreciated.
    15k gal inground plaster; Orig 1990? Ren 2012; Cartridge Fiter (Clear&Clean 500sf); Pentair W/F Pump; Booster & Polaris 280 cleaner; 320 Chlorinator, filled with city water; Taylor-K-2006

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    Re: New pool owner, water balance advice needed

    Lower the pH down to around 7.4 - 7.5 and keep it there. always.

    What is the CH of your fill water?

    CH and CYA are both too high I would suggest a 50% drain to make your pool water manageable.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New pool owner, water balance advice needed

    Just tested the tap water, CH is around 80.

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    Re: New pool owner, water balance advice needed

    Welcome to TFP and taking control of your pool.

    As Duraleigh said, you'd be well served to drain about 50% and refill. That will help both your high CH and CYA.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: New pool owner, water balance advice needed

    80 is great. A bit unusual, though. Will your fill water be coming from that tap? Do you have a water softener
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New pool owner, water balance advice needed

    First, many thanks for all the responses and advice. I've been reading the forum and it is so educational.

    Dave, Yes, fill water will be coming from the house water, hardness is indeed 80, no water softener. Checked it again today. Got the pool drained about 10% and refilled four times so far, will do one last round of drain/refill this weekend. It's been a bit of a chore because I can't drain anymore once the water level drops below the skimmer, the pump loses prime and quits, so I have to drain as much as I can, refill with fresh water, run the pump to mix, and keep doing it over again. Seems like I can only get about 10% at a time, by guess. There is apparently some kind of control plate contraption which I can place in the skimmer basket which will force water from the main drain and help the pump keep pumping past the main drain, the Leslie's guy showed it to me but I balked at what I thought was a ridiculous price at first and didn't get it. In retrospect that plate would have saved a lot of hassle as I wouldn't have to do the multiple drain/refill cycles but oh well - I'm almost there now. CYA and hardness are both going down, so that is good. I'm looking forward to being able to have a pool I can swim in this weekend if all goes according to plan.
    15k gal inground plaster; Orig 1990? Ren 2012; Cartridge Fiter (Clear&Clean 500sf); Pentair W/F Pump; Booster & Polaris 280 cleaner; 320 Chlorinator, filled with city water; Taylor-K-2006

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    Re: New pool owner, water balance advice needed

    So I finally managed to figure out how to drain the water below the skimmer using a hose and siphoning out into the woods below the pool. Managed to get quite a bit drained overnight. Now the consequences of running the high pH seem to be be more clear, my pool walls have chalky calcium residue all over (pic attached). From looking up earlier posts on TFP regarding this, the advice seems to indicate just filling it back up and running a slightly negative LSI by keeping the pH at a lower end of the range. Or should I try to clean the walls in some way before refilling?
    IMG_20170514_085851.jpg
    15k gal inground plaster; Orig 1990? Ren 2012; Cartridge Fiter (Clear&Clean 500sf); Pentair W/F Pump; Booster & Polaris 280 cleaner; 320 Chlorinator, filled with city water; Taylor-K-2006

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    Re: New pool owner, water balance advice needed

    Yeah, I have to agree with your diagnosis of calcium scale. I would personally live with it and try to slowly dissolve it with low pH (7.0 - 7.2). It'll take a long time (maybe all swim season) but your alternative is a no-drain acid wash or a full drain acid wash. I don't think your pool warrants that but you might feel differently.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New pool owner, water balance advice needed

    Ditto on keeping your CSI low and brushing those areas more. If there are particular bad spots in bad places you can sand them with 80-100 grit wet/dry sandpaper to smooth them so they don't rough up skin or swimsuits so much.

    More here about scale, Pool School - Calcium Scaling
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: New pool owner, water balance advice needed

    Thank you for the advice on the ca scale, duraleigh and pooldv. I agree with your analysis and just filled it back up, and for this season will just run a lower pH with hopes of dissolving the scale. Looking closely at the walls, there aren't really any spots where the CA sticks out and makes rough spots (except a few specks on the tile, which I brushed out), mostly the white is embedded in the plaster. I'll just try and let it correct itself as you suggest.

    In any case, filled the pool back up, and now have some new numbers. I did add some bleach after filling it back up to bring up the FC. These are the numbers after all is mixed in:

    FC 2.5
    CC 0
    TA 70
    pH 7.8
    CH 550
    CYA 40

    I'm much happier with the CYA level, that and the CH might go down further as we expecting rain this week and I actually under-filled slightly in expectation of that. I'd like to target a pH of around 7.2 while bringing the TA up to the recommended range - which I know is kind of working cross purposes.

    I need some advice on how I should go about doing this? Baking Soda first to bump TA and then enough Muriatic Acid to lower pH, or the other way around? I'd like the pH to stay put near 7.2 - 7.4
    15k gal inground plaster; Orig 1990? Ren 2012; Cartridge Fiter (Clear&Clean 500sf); Pentair W/F Pump; Booster & Polaris 280 cleaner; 320 Chlorinator, filled with city water; Taylor-K-2006

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, water balance advice needed

    TA is in recommended range, Pool School - Recommended Levels. And as low as 50 is fine for what you are going to do. Use PoolMath to calculate your CSI and keep your CSI at -0.9 to -0.8 and brush as often as you can or want to.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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