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Thread: Trouble With First Pool Opening

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    Trouble With First Pool Opening

    We opened our pool in Summer 2016 so the water was new and we used TFP method without any issues. The pool company came and closed the pool for the winter and I just had them open it this week. I did not add anything to the pool water during September through April. When opening the cover today, I noticed the water looked very cloudy and could barely see the bottom. I used the TFP-100 test kit to take my first results of the year. Here are the numbers:

    FC = .5
    CC = 0
    TC = .5
    Calcium = 175
    Alkalinity = 170
    PH = 7.6
    CYA = 0 ( I could see the black dot easily even after filling the test tube all the way)

    I have read through pool school and I guess I'm confused on when to SLAM and when not to. Does opening your pool in the Spring automatically mean you must SLAM? I never had to SLAM during our first summer as everything was perfect each day I tested. I use Liquid Chlorine from Mendards which is the 12.5%.

    I was hoping I could figure this out on my own but am looking for some guidance from the experts.

    Thank you.
    Constructed in Spring 2016, 20x40 inground vinyl liner pool; depths from 3.5 to 6.5 feet; 26,000 gallons, Pentair sand filter, Pentair two-speed Whisperflo pump, In-line chlorinator (don't use it though), 125,000 BTU Pentair Heat Pump, Coverstar Automatic Cover, TF-100 Test kit, fill pool with city water.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    If your water is not crystal clear, then a SLAM is likely required.

    What was your CYA last year? Did you replace a lot of water?

    Here is what I would do:
    1. Lower the pH to the lower 7s
    2. Raise the FC up to 10ppm
    3. Retest the FC and CC after 10 minutes.
    4. If FC is still above 5ppm and the CC is not high, GO TO #7, otherwise go to #5
    5. Ammonia likely present, keep adding bleach up to FC of 10ppm until it holds over the 10-15 mintues
    6. Once FC holds, go to #7
    7. Add 30ppm of CYA in a sock
    8. Start to follow the SLAM process, assuming your CYA is 30ppm
    9. Pass the 3 criteria to stop the SLAM
    10.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Thanks for the heads up - can I just use the PoolMath calculator to get an idea on how to lower pH to 7.2 and raise FC to 10ppm? After keying in these targets, it says to add 2.6 gallons of 12.5% bleach and 84oz. of muriatic acid for the pH, 327oz of calcium chloride, 104oz. of stabilizer by weight (put in a sock). My plan is to do these steps without the CYA at first and then monitor the FC to have it hold above 5ppm. Once it holds, I will then add the CYA in a sock and let it float around.

    I didn't realize you could add chlorine and then get a good test in 10 minutes. I always thought you had to wait several hours for the water to pump through the system. Guess I learned something today!

    I will be sure to keep you in the loop throughout the day.
    Constructed in Spring 2016, 20x40 inground vinyl liner pool; depths from 3.5 to 6.5 feet; 26,000 gallons, Pentair sand filter, Pentair two-speed Whisperflo pump, In-line chlorinator (don't use it though), 125,000 BTU Pentair Heat Pump, Coverstar Automatic Cover, TF-100 Test kit, fill pool with city water.

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by dkite22 View Post
    Thanks for the heads up - can I just use the PoolMath calculator to get an idea on how to lower pH to 7.2 and raise FC to 10ppm? After keying in these targets, it says to add 2.6 gallons of 12.5% bleach and 84oz. of muriatic acid for the pH, 327oz of calcium chloride, 104oz. of stabilizer by weight (put in a sock). My plan is to do these steps without the CYA at first and then monitor the FC to have it hold above 5ppm. Once it holds, I will then add the CYA in a sock and let it float around.

    I didn't realize you could add chlorine and then get a good test in 10 minutes. I always thought you had to wait several hours for the water to pump through the system. Guess I learned something today!

    I will be sure to keep you in the loop throughout the day.
    You don't need the Calcium. You have a vinyl liner. And it may cloud the water and cloud the issue.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Usually you should wait about 30 minutes to test, but for the ammonia check, we do it a little quicker
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by dkite22 View Post
    can I just use the PoolMath calculator to get an idea on how to (add chemicals) ....
    Yes, absolutely! that is exactly what PoolMath is used for. It will tell you how much to add and is usually very close. One thing about pH adjustment / muriatic acid. It is best to do that in steps and creep up on the target. For the acid, start by adding most of the PoolMath recommended amt, let the pump circulate for 30 mins to get a thorough mix, then test pH to see how close you got. Add more if you need to.

    That acid addition will help get your TA down as well.

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Update: As of this morning, I added the acid which reduced the pH to 7.1 based on recommendation above. I then added the 2.6 gallons of 12.5% bleach to raise the FC to 10ppm. After doing this the first time, I tested after 10 minutes and the FC was 2ppm. I then added another 2.6 gallons of 12.5% bleach and checked after 15 minutes. The FC was at 2.5ppm. I'm assuming I have ammonia based on how fast the chlorine is being dissolved. Before adding another 2.6 gallons of chlorine, I wanted to make sure that is what is necessary. Will this eventually level out and the chlorine will kill the ammonia? Also, I have not added any stabilizer yet so I know that is still at 0.
    Constructed in Spring 2016, 20x40 inground vinyl liner pool; depths from 3.5 to 6.5 feet; 26,000 gallons, Pentair sand filter, Pentair two-speed Whisperflo pump, In-line chlorinator (don't use it though), 125,000 BTU Pentair Heat Pump, Coverstar Automatic Cover, TF-100 Test kit, fill pool with city water.

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by dkite22 View Post
    Update: As of this morning, I added the acid which reduced the pH to 7.1 based on recommendation above. I then added the 2.6 gallons of 12.5% bleach to raise the FC to 10ppm. After doing this the first time, I tested after 10 minutes and the FC was 2ppm. I then added another 2.6 gallons of 12.5% bleach and checked after 15 minutes. The FC was at 2.5ppm. I'm assuming I have ammonia based on how fast the chlorine is being dissolved. Before adding another 2.6 gallons of chlorine, I wanted to make sure that is what is necessary. Will this eventually level out and the chlorine will kill the ammonia? Also, I have not added any stabilizer yet so I know that is still at 0.
    Exactly.

    It takes HUGE amounts of bleach to neutralize Ammonia.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Test the CC too.

    Pump is running on high right?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Thanks for the advice and I will keep adding the chlorine until I get it to hold above 5ppm. Yes, I have had the pump on high during the process thinking it needed to spread out the chlorine as quick as possible. I'm hoping to learn from this and find a way to eliminate ammonia for next year's winter.
    Constructed in Spring 2016, 20x40 inground vinyl liner pool; depths from 3.5 to 6.5 feet; 26,000 gallons, Pentair sand filter, Pentair two-speed Whisperflo pump, In-line chlorinator (don't use it though), 125,000 BTU Pentair Heat Pump, Coverstar Automatic Cover, TF-100 Test kit, fill pool with city water.

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    It seems that the ammonia problem is very hit-or-miss there's really nothing you can do to prevent it other than making sure some chlorine stays in the water all winter.

    I'm curious to see your CC values. We should see them dropping fairly quickly.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Okay, I have done the third dose of bleach and just ran the 15 minute test. This time, the FC was right at 5ppm and the CC was at 4ppm. Should I move on to the SLAM process or should I wait to do an additional test in another 10-15 minutes? If I move to the SLAM process, do I need to let the CYA float in a sock for a certain amount of time before beginning to add more bleach? The recommendation above is 30ppm for CYA so I will get that measured and ready to go.
    Constructed in Spring 2016, 20x40 inground vinyl liner pool; depths from 3.5 to 6.5 feet; 26,000 gallons, Pentair sand filter, Pentair two-speed Whisperflo pump, In-line chlorinator (don't use it though), 125,000 BTU Pentair Heat Pump, Coverstar Automatic Cover, TF-100 Test kit, fill pool with city water.

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by dkite22 View Post
    Okay, I have done the third dose of bleach and just ran the 15 minute test. This time, the FC was right at 5ppm and the CC was at 4ppm. Should I move on to the SLAM process or should I wait to do an additional test in another 10-15 minutes? If I move to the SLAM process, do I need to let the CYA float in a sock for a certain amount of time before beginning to add more bleach? The recommendation above is 30ppm for CYA so I will get that measured and ready to go.
    Just go on. Don't wait for the CYA to dissolve, just put it in and keep going with the bleach.

    The pump is on, so there should be plenty of water pummeling that sock, and if you give it a squeeze every now and then, it will dissolve even faster.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Sounds good, I will begin the SLAM process and get the CYA sock in the skimmer. Since my CYA is 0, do I target 10ppm as the shock level? The CYA/Chlorine chart stops at 20ppm so I was not sure what the target is when your CYA is 0. Thanks for all of the help!
    Constructed in Spring 2016, 20x40 inground vinyl liner pool; depths from 3.5 to 6.5 feet; 26,000 gallons, Pentair sand filter, Pentair two-speed Whisperflo pump, In-line chlorinator (don't use it though), 125,000 BTU Pentair Heat Pump, Coverstar Automatic Cover, TF-100 Test kit, fill pool with city water.

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by dkite22 View Post
    Sounds good, I will begin the SLAM process and get the CYA sock in the skimmer. Since my CYA is 0, do I target 10ppm as the shock level? The CYA/Chlorine chart stops at 20ppm so I was not sure what the target is when your CYA is 0. Thanks for all of the help!
    10 FC with 0 CYA is shock level. Once that CYA starts dissolving some, just consider it all there and dose accordingly.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    With the high CC, I would give it a few more doses before adding CYA
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    So I held off on adding the CYA and did one more chlorine dose as recommended above. I had to go to a soccer game so I just got back and checked the levels again which is about 3 hours since I did the last chlorine dump. FC is only at 2ppm and CC was at 3ppm. Before SLAM process begins, should I probably do another dose of chlorine and a 15-minute ammonia test? I know the ammonia test passed earlier today as FC remained at 5ppm after the 15 minute test. I was just concerned that after three hours, FC had dropped to 2ppm. Thanks again for the advice and I will be glad to keep updating.
    Constructed in Spring 2016, 20x40 inground vinyl liner pool; depths from 3.5 to 6.5 feet; 26,000 gallons, Pentair sand filter, Pentair two-speed Whisperflo pump, In-line chlorinator (don't use it though), 125,000 BTU Pentair Heat Pump, Coverstar Automatic Cover, TF-100 Test kit, fill pool with city water.

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by dkite22 View Post
    So I held off on adding the CYA and did one more chlorine dose as recommended above. I had to go to a soccer game so I just got back and checked the levels again which is about 3 hours since I did the last chlorine dump. FC is only at 2ppm and CC was at 3ppm. Before SLAM process begins, should I probably do another dose of chlorine and a 15-minute ammonia test? I know the ammonia test passed earlier today as FC remained at 5ppm after the 15 minute test. I was just concerned that after three hours, FC had dropped to 2ppm. Thanks again for the advice and I will be glad to keep updating.
    With no CYA in the water, it's no wonder all the FC disappeared. It would do that in a clear pool, too. With no CYA and Ammonia, there wouldn't be anything left after 3 hours. You didn't lose all the FC, so I'd say the ammonia is pretty well gone. Just add the CYA and keep it up to shock level.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Yep I think I agree with Richard.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Trouble With First Pool Opening

    Thanks for the info guys and hopefully we are almost there. I just put the CYA sock(s) in the pool and had to use a couple since I was putting in about 6.5lbs. The CYA container said to sprinkle the granular material throughout the pool but I obviously used the sock method. Does the sock method allow the CYA to start working right away or will it take several days to have CYA reach 30ppm? I just did the first SLAM with liquid chlorine and will monitor results after a couple of hours. I'm fully expecting the FC to come back down to low single digits and will SLAM again this evening most likely. I feel like a scientist!!
    Constructed in Spring 2016, 20x40 inground vinyl liner pool; depths from 3.5 to 6.5 feet; 26,000 gallons, Pentair sand filter, Pentair two-speed Whisperflo pump, In-line chlorinator (don't use it though), 125,000 BTU Pentair Heat Pump, Coverstar Automatic Cover, TF-100 Test kit, fill pool with city water.

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