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Thread: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

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    Cool Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    Here goes, I'm diving in! First-time pool owner, finished pool build in late November 2016 but we have not been swimming in it yet. I'm in the process of reading Pool School (my brain is overwhelmed but I'll get there), I just ordered a test kit (Taylor K-2600) and, in the mean time, I took a water sample to the pool store (don't judge) because I'm anxious to get started as swimming season is upon us! And I have a pool party planned on May 19.

    Based on the Pool and Spa Depot water test, their printout reads like this:


    • FC is valued at 0 (acceptable range is 1 to 4ppm) Need to add 3 bags of salt
    • Total Chlorine value is 0 (acceptable range 1 to 4ppm) Need to add 3 bags of salt
    • Combined Chlorine is 0 (acceptable range is <0.2 ppm) Level is OK
    • pH level value is 7.6 (acceptable range is 7.2 to 7.6) Level is OK
    • TA value is 34 (acceptable range is to 60 to 120ppm) Need to add 19.5 lbs Alkalinity Plus for $40
    • Calcium Hardness value is 0 (acceptable range is 200 to 500 ppm) Need to add 51.75 lbs of Calcium Plus for $120
    • CYA value is 7 (acceptable range is 30 to 70 ppm) Need to add 4-lb bottle of Cyranuric Acid for $14.99
    • Phosphates value is 744 and is HIGH
    • SALT value is 2900 (acceptable range 2500 to 4000)
    • Endure value is 0 (acceptable range 30 to 50ppm) Level is LOW
    • Copper, Iron, Manganese, Nitrates, Total Dissolved Solids are all at a value of 0 and are OK



    My water looks pretty good and clear except for a little algae that is starting to bloom on part of the bottom. See PHOTOS below.

    I went to Walmart and bought a 4-lb bottle of granulated Clorox-brand CYA/Stabilizer, dissolved it a little in a bucket, and added to both skimmers (without a sock-whoops). My pump is on 3200 and the SWG is off. I realize that I won't be able to get a good reading on CYA for a week (test kit should be here by then). I also purchased 4 bags of SALT, and a huge bag of baking soda.

    Here are my questions for you helpful experts out there:

    1) I'm confused about which additives can be added to the water at the same time; should they each be added at separate times? If so, in what order should I add them?
    2) Can I go ahead and add a few bottles of bleach and a few bags of salt NOW? I'm worried the algae is going to get out of control.
    3) Did I do the right thing by turning off the SWG until I have enough SALT in the water?
    4) I read in a forum that with a vinyl liner, you should never have to add anything for the calcium harness, is that correct?
    5) Any other suggestions are welcome! Except telling me to be patient
    26,600K gallon, rectangular 18'x42', 4'-6 1/2' depth, IG vinyl, Sta-Rite 3 Cartridge Filter, Pentair Intellifo VS pump, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Delta UV, Hayward Auto-Skim, 2 skimmers/no floor drain, Dolphin robot, Taylor K2600, pool installed 11/16

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    Welcome!

    There's a very good chance your SWG is working just fine, but the algae you have is using it all as fast as it can generate. If the SWG isn't flashing low salt, then it's happy, and you should be happy, too.

    Your pH is good. Your TA shows low, but I don't really trust pool store tests, so don't add anything there.


    Unless you filled from a water softener, that CH reading is wrong. Besides that, your vinyl pool doesn't care about low CH. So skip that, too.

    CYA could be that low.... again I don't trust the pool store tests. If they misread it and you add more, next time you may be too high and the only way to be rid of it is by draining, which will make you lose salt. Oops, too late.

    I have no clue what Endure is, and we ignore phosphates here.

    The big problems are: you're trusting the pool store, and you have algae. You most definitely need to get some chlorine in there yesterday. While the SWG is off, that algae you see is having a good old time growing more. Bleach is what you want. A gallon or a gallon and a half every day until you get your own test results. Don't expect anything more than holding things at bay. You may also turn on the SWG to keep the FC up.

    I'd hold off vacuuming for now, because you'll likely clog the filter and have to backwash and all that CYA that hasn't dissolved will be lost. But do brush.

    Once you get the test kit, run every test and post results. Then we can advise you from a position of knowledge.
    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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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    What Richard said and do get proper test results from a test kit first before adding anything.

    I will say, I doubt 4 lbs of cya will get you to 30. My 13,000 gallon pool would go from 0 CYA to
    40 with 4lbs (raises cya 10 ppm per lb) and your pool is nearly double the size of mine.

    But again, get some accurate test results first.

    What a beautiful pool you have thought I must say!
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    Thanks Richard320 and borjis!

    I did not fill from a water softener so I will happily skip the CH additive from the pool store.

    My SWG did not show that it was low, so I will turn it back on. I was just afraid that low CYA and TA levels would over-work the SWG.

    Should I add at least one bag of salt? Can salt and bleach be added at the same time?

    I will add bleach daily and brush like a good pool girl. AND, I will post the test kit results as soon as I have them!!!
    26,600K gallon, rectangular 18'x42', 4'-6 1/2' depth, IG vinyl, Sta-Rite 3 Cartridge Filter, Pentair Intellifo VS pump, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Delta UV, Hayward Auto-Skim, 2 skimmers/no floor drain, Dolphin robot, Taylor K2600, pool installed 11/16

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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by makomermaid View Post
    Should I add at least one bag of salt? Can salt and bleach be added at the same time?
    I'm not aware of any reason they cannot be, but there's really little point in messing with salt levels right now. Pretty soon you'll be doing lots of backwashing, and thus wasting some of the salt. Miniscule amounts, but still. If your SWG isn't complaining then it will still be generating. Right now the focus is on getting FC up and killing the algae.
    20x40 28kgal in-ground vinyl built 2011, liner replaced 2017
    Pentair Tagelus TA60D sand filter, Pentair SuperFlow 1HP pump, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Dolphin Active 30i
    City water, TF-100 test kit + speedstir.
    Recommended Levels | Chlorine/CYA Chart | SLAM

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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    Got it, thanks!
    26,600K gallon, rectangular 18'x42', 4'-6 1/2' depth, IG vinyl, Sta-Rite 3 Cartridge Filter, Pentair Intellifo VS pump, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Delta UV, Hayward Auto-Skim, 2 skimmers/no floor drain, Dolphin robot, Taylor K2600, pool installed 11/16

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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    Richard320, I have one more question if you'd be so kind to answer. When turning on my SWG, what % setting should it be on while I'm trying to figure all this out?
    26,600K gallon, rectangular 18'x42', 4'-6 1/2' depth, IG vinyl, Sta-Rite 3 Cartridge Filter, Pentair Intellifo VS pump, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Delta UV, Hayward Auto-Skim, 2 skimmers/no floor drain, Dolphin robot, Taylor K2600, pool installed 11/16

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by makomermaid View Post
    Richard320, I have one more question if you'd be so kind to answer. When turning on my SWG, what % setting should it be on while I'm trying to figure all this out?
    Standard Operating Procedure is to shut the SWG off during a SLAM, but since you're not actually doing a SLAM at the moment since you're blind without a FC tester, whatever you wish. There's no point in burning out the cell on boost, so just leave it wherever it was set before. If you don't know, go low. 30%.

    Don't expect any fantastic results. Remember, you're just in a holding pattern.
    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: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    UPDATE: I received my test kits yesterday (Taylor K2600 and salt test) and tested the water this afternoon. I even re-tested everything to be sure of the results. The results are:
    Salt-3200ppm
    pH-7.6
    TA-60ppm
    FC-5.5ppm
    CC-0.5ppm
    CYA-less than 30ppm (test isn't number specific under 30ppm)

    I turned the SWG back on at 40% three days ago. I have been adding 1&1/2 gallons of bleach every day for 4 days. In my limited understanding, I think everything looks good except the CYA. How do I determine how much stabilizer to add?

    And, more importantly, is the pool now safe to swim in?
    26,600K gallon, rectangular 18'x42', 4'-6 1/2' depth, IG vinyl, Sta-Rite 3 Cartridge Filter, Pentair Intellifo VS pump, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Delta UV, Hayward Auto-Skim, 2 skimmers/no floor drain, Dolphin robot, Taylor K2600, pool installed 11/16

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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    Hi there

    There is a link at the top of the page for pool math. That will help you with determining quantities of chemicals to add. If I'm understanding, you do currently have algae? If so, you want to follow the instructions in this article:

    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    You should be safe to swim at all of those levels.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    since you are new to pools and their care I am going to share a set of links I put together for newbies!

    Print these out:
    Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

    Pool School - Recommended Levels

    Bookmark these:
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    It is a LOT of info so take it slow and PLEASE ask LOTS of questions!

    I would like to point out the recommend levels as your first go to to answer your questions about it being safe to swim in. So long as your FC is just below the SLAM/shock level for your CYA then it is safe to swim! Go with the CYA you targeted when you added it to your filter as if it is already in your water.

    You will notice I included a link to Pool Math. That is an awesome tool for knowing how much of what to add to work your levels. There is a slight learning curve so take it slow. Do NOT put the comma in your gallons. For some reason PM does not like it

    That is one pretty pool and area! I would LOVE more pics of the fireplace!!!!

    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: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    Thank you AimeeH and kimkats!

    I have started reading Pool School but it takes a while to get through it and to remember everything, especially when LIFE continually interrupts! The pool math calculator is awesome. I now know how much CYA/stabilizer to add, etc. but I'm starting very conservatively. I do not have a pool drain in the floor of my pool so too much CYA would create a dilemma. I guess I should ask my pool builder how the heck I'm supposed to drain it if ever I need to.

    I'm not sure if I have algae or not. It hasn't "grown" in about 5 days and the automated pool vacuum seems to be just sucking it right up. The water is clear. I'll re-test the water tomorrow to see if the FC numbers are the same.

    kimkats, I tried to attach additional photos of the FP but the File Upload Manager tells me I'm out of space. I guess the photos I attached to the original post were too big. But how to delete them?
    26,600K gallon, rectangular 18'x42', 4'-6 1/2' depth, IG vinyl, Sta-Rite 3 Cartridge Filter, Pentair Intellifo VS pump, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Delta UV, Hayward Auto-Skim, 2 skimmers/no floor drain, Dolphin robot, Taylor K2600, pool installed 11/16

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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    I figured out how to delete my original photos on the original post; now attaching new images including closeup of FP.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    26,600K gallon, rectangular 18'x42', 4'-6 1/2' depth, IG vinyl, Sta-Rite 3 Cartridge Filter, Pentair Intellifo VS pump, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Delta UV, Hayward Auto-Skim, 2 skimmers/no floor drain, Dolphin robot, Taylor K2600, pool installed 11/16

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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    I dont think the original pictures had algae, looks just like dirt, but we will only know if you do an OCLT test. CYA can be raised a little more like 40 since later you will have to raise to 70-80 for a salt pool. Dont worry about the pool floor drain, its not mandatory, you can use a drain pump(rent from lowes) if needed. I would leave the SWG at 40% for now.
    Let us know what was the result of the OCLT test and we can go from there.

    Good looking pool!

    Felipe
    7,500 gal Rectangular, Easytouch, Air+water temp sensors, Screenlogic2, IC40, intellibright5g color12v, Intelli pH, SD 70 filter w/Zeolit, Magicstream Laminars, 4 actuators, waterfall. Raised Monolithic concrete lined with glass beads.

    In Sunny Monterrey,Mx!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Just Getting Started...Am I ever!

    OH MY! What a pretty fire place! I see many nights out there sitting and watching it! WOW!

    For pics you can use photo bucket or such. You can also become a supporting member (see blue oval at the top of the page).

    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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