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Thread: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

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    Question total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Hi all,

    I uncovered my pool too early and let it sit with the cover off for about 9 days due to non-stop rain and 40บ weather (fun!). So far I've backwashed my new sand filter a bit but haven't flipped it to filter mode or done any tests.

    I got my TF-100 in the mail and it's kind of a lot of info all at once, so I don't know where to start. I know I need to SLAM eventually, but which test(s) should I run first? It's partly cloudy/sunny today but supposed to rain again this weekend (50%).

    Here's a pic of my pool I just took.



    Thanks!
    SLAM • Chlorine/CYA Chart • PoolMath • Pool Chemicals
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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Just start 1 test at a time. There is really nothing tricky about the tests. Just count drops until the the last drop does not cause a color change and then don't count that drop.

    Plenty of of people here to help.

    I would just start with the comparator in the blue box. To see if any chlorine is in the water and what your pH is.
    If you get no yellow on the chlorine, there is really no need to do the FAS-DPD chlorine test with the powder.
    Then do the TA and then the CH and then the CYA.

    Easy Peasy
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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    When you say you haven't put the valve in filter mode, does that mean you're running the pump in bypass mode? That's ok, but after being closed and rained on, you'll want the water to be circulated before running tests (run the pump).
    12,000 gal Diamond Brite indoor​ pool. Pentair Triton TR-60 Sand Filter +added DE, Lochinvar Energyrite ERN-200 gas heater, Pentair Multi-valve, Pentair SuperFlo VS pump, TF-100 kit, Pool Math App - iOS

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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollercoastr View Post
    When you say you haven't put the valve in filter mode, does that mean you're running the pump in bypass mode? That's ok, but after being closed and rained on, you'll want the water to be circulated before running tests (run the pump).
    Hi! The pump has just been shut off/set to "Closed" for the past 9 days since I wasn't able to test or use the pool due to the rain/cold temps. That's really good to know about running the pump before doing the tests, thanks! I was going to ask that actually.
    SLAM • Chlorine/CYA Chart • PoolMath • Pool Chemicals
    20,000gal IG Vinyl Pool, Village water
    Hayward S244S Pro 24-Inch Side-Mount 1.5" Sand Filter w/ Sidley Sand
    Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A/340038 1.0 HP Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir

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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Welcome to TFP!!!

    I would just start with the comparator in the blue box. To see if any chlorine is in the water and what your pH is.
    If you get no yellow on the chlorine, there is really no need to do the FAS-DPD chlorine test with the powder.
    Then do the TA and then the CH and then the CYA.

    Easy Peasy
    Hi, thanks for the help! *Finally* the sun is out and it's actually over 45บ for a change... YEESH.

    Here are the results of the lil blue box tests:



    I also did the CYA test and the water level in the view tube was below 100, but... I haven't put anything into the pool yet chemical-wise, I just now got the filter running and circulating the water. Does that matter?

    When will I know it's time to SLAM?

    Thanks again!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollercoastr View Post
    When you say you haven't put the valve in filter mode, does that mean you're running the pump in bypass mode? That's ok, but after being closed and rained on, you'll want the water to be circulated before running tests (run the pump).
    Hi, how long should I run it in filter mode before starting the tests? It's only been running a few minutes before I tested it out. (I couldn't contain my excitement!)
    SLAM • Chlorine/CYA Chart • PoolMath • Pool Chemicals
    20,000gal IG Vinyl Pool, Village water
    Hayward S244S Pro 24-Inch Side-Mount 1.5" Sand Filter w/ Sidley Sand
    Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A/340038 1.0 HP Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir

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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Sounds like you CYA is over 100ppm which means you should replace water to get that down to the recommended range.

    After that, recheck your pH which looks a little low. Hint, read this holding the block up to the uniform sky to better see the colors.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Oh, you should run the pump at least 30 minutes before testing.
    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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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Oh, you should run the pump at least 30 minutes before testing.
    Okay, ran the pump overnight, here are the results of my first-ish test!

    FC: (0?) (this is from the blue Taylor test box, right?)
    PH: 6.8-7ish?
    TA: 60
    CH: 75
    CYA: 100-80

    Notes/Questions:
    - TA turned bright pink on the 6th drop, that's 60, right?
    - CH turned blue on the 3rd drop, so that's 75, right?
    - CYA was difficult, I had my back to the sun, holding it over concrete at waist level, and could baaarely barely see the dot at 100, but it was hard to tell if it was the dot or reflections of the markings on the tube in the water. Either way, I definitely couldn't see anything at 80, even with the tube in the sun.

    The floating algae in the water is gone now that I've had my new filter going overnight and I've backwashed it a couple of times since I turned it on yesterday.

    So where do I go from here?

    Thanks you guys!!
    SLAM • Chlorine/CYA Chart • PoolMath • Pool Chemicals
    20,000gal IG Vinyl Pool, Village water
    Hayward S244S Pro 24-Inch Side-Mount 1.5" Sand Filter w/ Sidley Sand
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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    I have the same advice that I posted last night.
    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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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I have the same advice that I posted last night.
    Ok, thanks! How much water do you think I should drain? And should I just replace it w/ garden hose/village water from my house?

    Thanks again,
    -Gary
    SLAM • Chlorine/CYA Chart • PoolMath • Pool Chemicals
    20,000gal IG Vinyl Pool, Village water
    Hayward S244S Pro 24-Inch Side-Mount 1.5" Sand Filter w/ Sidley Sand
    Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A/340038 1.0 HP Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir

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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Quote Originally Posted by garybtru View Post
    Ok, thanks! How much water do you think I should drain? And should I just replace it w/ garden hose/village water from my house?
    Thankfully, it's simple math - if your level is 90ish and you want it at 30, you would need to drain/refill about 2/3 of it. So use whatever numbers make sense for what you're trying to do. Be aware that a vinyl pool needs at least a foot of water in all parts at any given time, so you might have to do a partial drain/refill twice. City water is fine. One tip if you're on city sewer is to see if there's a summer sewer program where they ignore excess water usage for calculating sewer costs (for pool, lawn watering) - you can save a lot of money this way.

    Don't be surprised if you do a drain/refill and still have an elevated CYA - anywhere around 100ppm could mean much more than that.
    20x40 28kgal in-ground vinyl built 2011, liner replaced 2017
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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    I would suggest around at least a 50% water replacement
    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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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Okay, got it drained 2 feet and filling it back up.

    Wow! It takes a lot longer to fill up w/ the garden hose than it does draining it w/ the pump!!
    SLAM • Chlorine/CYA Chart • PoolMath • Pool Chemicals
    20,000gal IG Vinyl Pool, Village water
    Hayward S244S Pro 24-Inch Side-Mount 1.5" Sand Filter w/ Sidley Sand
    Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A/340038 1.0 HP Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir

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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Quote Originally Posted by garybtru View Post
    Okay, got it drained 2 feet and filling it back up.

    Wow! It takes a lot longer to fill up w/ the garden hose than it does draining it w/ the pump!!
    We have really low water pressure, and it took us nearly 4 days to get our pool full after a liner replacement! Talk about antsy kids... that new liner just sitting there looking pretty but unusable.


    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: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Hah, our water pressure is insanely high, but I think I'm gonna be filling for at least another day. Yeah I hear ya re: antsy kids, it was ~40-50บ for like the past 2 weeks, and FINALLY it skipped right over the 70's today and was like 84บ out.

    My daughter's all "I wanna swim in the pool _today_ though." while I have it draining down to the first step, which is covered in green goo... "Okayyy, go get your suit and hop in!" Hahah. "I'm workin' on it," I say! And wow am I ever. Had to run out and get a 68' backwash hose today to run the water away from the house. 2 feet of water is no joke! Kinda glad our pool isn't olympic-sized!
    SLAM • Chlorine/CYA Chart • PoolMath • Pool Chemicals
    20,000gal IG Vinyl Pool, Village water
    Hayward S244S Pro 24-Inch Side-Mount 1.5" Sand Filter w/ Sidley Sand
    Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A/340038 1.0 HP Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir

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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    It'll all be worth it when you finally get in the water after putting in such hard work!


    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: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Quote Originally Posted by drharris View Post
    It'll all be worth it when you finally get in the water after putting in such hard work!
    True, just gotta keep tellin' myself that!

    I've started shopping around for bleach while I wait for the pool to fill up... I've found bleach prices can vary a fair amount from store to store.

    One thing I wish I would have done while I was draining is vacuum the bottom w/ the filter on WASTE. I still have some dead worms and junk in the bottom. I guess they'll end up in the skimmer basket after I vacuum them up later on... but still! 2 birds w/ one stone would have been nice. Another lesson learned!
    SLAM • Chlorine/CYA Chart • PoolMath • Pool Chemicals
    20,000gal IG Vinyl Pool, Village water
    Hayward S244S Pro 24-Inch Side-Mount 1.5" Sand Filter w/ Sidley Sand
    Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A/340038 1.0 HP Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir

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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I would suggest around at least a 50% water replacement
    Okay the big reveal!

    The CYA reading is.............. still at about 80. 70 if I "cheat" a little. Nooooooooo! So now what should I do at this point? Drain it 2 feet again and re-fill?

    Thanks in advance!
    SLAM • Chlorine/CYA Chart • PoolMath • Pool Chemicals
    20,000gal IG Vinyl Pool, Village water
    Hayward S244S Pro 24-Inch Side-Mount 1.5" Sand Filter w/ Sidley Sand
    Pentair SuperFlo SF-N1-1A/340038 1.0 HP Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ SpeedStir

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    Re: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    I would do that, as painful as it is. Technically you could SLAM it at CYA of 80ppm, but it's going to be even more painful and quite expensive. You need lots of FC, which means lots of bleach, and it means FC will disappear faster on top of it. Another partial drain/refill should get you to a better place. This time, vacuum to waste!

    If you need encouragement, realize that the previous CYA of perhaps around 100 could have meant much higher than that, so at least now you can be more sure of the number!
    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: total newb, don't know where to start with my TF-100

    Quote Originally Posted by drharris View Post
    I would do that, as painful as it is. Technically you could SLAM it at CYA of 80ppm, but it's going to be even more painful and quite expensive. You need lots of FC, which means lots of bleach, and it means FC will disappear faster on top of it. Another partial drain/refill should get you to a better place. This time, vacuum to waste!

    If you need encouragement, realize that the previous CYA of perhaps around 100 could have meant much higher than that, so at least now you can be more sure of the number!
    I concur.

    If the vacuum won't seal tight to the skimmer to let you vacuum to waste, try a few rubber bands around the collar so it really gets squeezed in. If you vacuum out as much sludge as you can, that means less chlorine will be needed so you'll recoup some of the cost of the water.
    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.
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