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Thread: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

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    FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    Hi, I have been reading alot on this website for a few weeks now and it is sooooo helpful, but I still find myself a little confused and scarred to touch my pool water. When i started reading, my pool wasnt this bad..then we had to leave unexpectatly for a week and a half and pool is terribly GROSS. Here is my problem. Pool was filled and we had many problems with the hose cracking ect..thus filter w as never turmned on nor were chemicals ever put in. So now I have a stagnent, slimmy 18ft round bucket of slime/water. We did buy a pool cover for it but it came off while we were gone, and there were two major storms that hit here as well. Anyway, what is the CHEAPEST was to clear this problem up? I thought using the baking soda, chlorine would be the CHEAPEST route to go to maintain pool this summer. Can I still do this after I do a major shock to it? Also I don't have the money for a test kit...I do have a hth 3 way test kit. I also will be getting a vacume bag that goes on the end of my hose to suction as much of the algia slime away. How many of those shock tabs do I need to put in to shock it? Or can I just use a BUNCH of bleach from wal-mart. Please advise me on the best cheapest way to fix and maintain this darn thing.
    Michelle
    Matt

    10,000g "Antigua" (kidney shape) fiberglass IG pool, 1 hp Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 1200 Cart filter, 130K BTU heater, Savi Melody lights.

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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    Stick with bleach and read pool school if you haven't already. A good test kit is worth the investment. Without posting numbers you are asking people to guess at how to fix your problems. There is no magic answer to fix everything, but most of the answers you need are in pool school. If you are still unclear after reading it a few times, ask and folks will clear things up for you. The folks here have helped me and they can help you, but you need to give them the proper info to do it.
    18k Inground Plaster pool / TriStar Variable Speed Pump and Controller
    48sq ft Hayward DE filter/ Swim pure Plus 40k cell / Kreepy Krauly
    Solaxx Ph-Tek

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    without the test kit you will spend more money to clear up your pool because you don't know what you have in it and will have to put in too much to make sure you have enough. or it will never clear because you won't be putting enough (chlorine/bleach) in the pool. others may correct me, but if you can get the fas-dpd test only (www.tftestkits.net $25.50) you can probably get by as long as you can get a good CYA reading. you can try a pool store to get one, but if they're wrong you can end up spending more money and never having a clear pool. think of the test kit as a guarantee (with your hard work and guidance from pool-school/) of clearing your water. like dravenone said, you need to read pool school to get a better understanding of pools. it will help a ton and it's free!
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    Anyway, what is the CHEAPEST was to clear this problem up?
    Cheapest and best will not be the same as you know.

    If you are determined to do it the cheapest without testing, you could put in one of the large jugs of Clorox each evening until your pool clears.....it will likely take several days. Run your pump 24/7 and clean out the junk that accumulates in your pool.

    Then, if it does clear (and it probably will), you could maintain it the rest of the summer by adding 1/2 gallon of bleach each evening.

    You may overdose some since you are simply guessing at how much chlorine your pool needs and you will certainly get algae again if you fail to add the chlorine religously but I believe you may be successful and it is certainly the cheapest method to try........just a lot of guesswork involved.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    ok, so I did read the forum you all mentioned, but that was BEFORE I had this green murky water. Back when i was telling the husband the importance of turning pump on and using the BBB method. He didnt think this would happen so fast...:9 but anyway, now we have mess. Can I test with the 3 way test I have for the CYA level? It tests for Chloride, ph and total bromine? I can do that riht now and post those results if that would help..then go to walmart and by the shock ect...
    Matt

    10,000g "Antigua" (kidney shape) fiberglass IG pool, 1 hp Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 1200 Cart filter, 130K BTU heater, Savi Melody lights.

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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    Can I test with the 3 way test I have for the CYA level?
    No, it won't test CYA but, unless you put some in there (you said not), there won't be any.

    Your test will test for Chlorine and pH. (Disregard bromine).

    The problem is your test kit will only go to 3-5ppm on chlorine and you need much more than that to clear your pool. My suggestion of a large jug each evening will be enough to get to the levels you need and, again, will probably clear your pool.

    Testing for pH is a good idea, too. It should be somewhere in the middle 7's. Post that number up and we'll tell you if it needs adjusting.

    If you wan't to stay inexpensive stay out of the pool section at Walmart or any other pool store. You will purchase things you simply don't need. Clorox will clear your pool.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    you keep saying stuff that makes it seem like you aren't refreshing yourself on pool school, or are choosing not to use the bbb method. the answers are in pool school to everything you've asked. I could say them here, but I would say the same thing pool school does. unfortunately that test doesn't have cya, although there is a 6-way kit at walmart that does have it. there's only enough for 3 tests, and getting what you really need is a much better value, but it's ultimately your decision. pool-school/
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Testing for pH is a good idea, too. It should be somewhere in the middle 7's. Post that number up and we'll tell you if it needs adjusting.
    Do that BEFORE you put the big jug of bleach in. If there's a real lot of chlorine in the water, the pH test won't be accurate.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    Hi there. I know you are overwhelmed. I know it's ALOT of information all at once.

    I didn't get my username by accident - I've been there...trust me.

    BBB is the cheapest, and we'll help you clear your pool.

    Is the filter running now? What kind of filter is it?

    1). If the filter is running, go ahead and use your tester and test the PH, tell us what it is. If your PH is lower than 7.2 you are going to need to buy some Borax, which is found in the laundry aisle at Walmart.

    Since the pool was filled recently, but chems never added, you have no chlorine or CYA in your pool.

    2). You are going to need lots of bleach (clorox or store generic, like Walmart's Great Value bleach). I'd say start with 10 large 182 oz jugs. You want the 6%- unscented. Make sure you double check the label.

    3). You'll also need Cyanuric Acid or "stabilizer" (CYA). Walmart has the HTH brand, in 4 lb jugs, if you can find some instock. Other stores with pool departments may have some too, but you may have to go to a Pool Store to find it. You need the CYA to protect your chlorine from sunlight.

    Once the PH is in range, you can start using the bleach. You can add the CYA (we'll tell you how). AFter these three steps have been done, and about 5 days have passed, you can go to the Pool Store and have them run a full set of test results (it takes at least 5 days for the CYA to dissolve and show up on testing). During those 5 days you'll still be adding bleach each nite.

    Here's the tests the pool store should run:
    FC
    CC
    PH
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    Some pool stores do it for free, some require a min purchase. Don't take their advice, if you do have to buy something, then buy liquid chlorine if you can, followed by Cal-hypo bags of "shock" (IF you HAVE to).

    Don't let them convince you 'bleach is bad' or that you need "XYZ" chemicals cause you probably don't and they'll end up costing you a fortune.

    If you can spring for the $20 HTH 6-way test kit, that will be better than what you have. It can test for TA and CYA too and we really need you to be able to test for those to finish balancing your water.

    Okay, I know it's alot, but we're here to help. Hope this does.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    I would like to also echo getting a good test kit. It may be an initial investment upfront, but knowing how your pool works and being able to get guidance from these guys by providing your own testing numbers with save you A WHOLE HEAP OF A LOT OF MONEY over the long haul!
    26,000 gal liner IG pool
    Doughboy with concrete construction
    Full sun most of the day
    1.5 hp pump system
    200lb sand filter

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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    ok, so here is what I know so far...right after my last email to forum I tested water with 3-way test kit. I did this BEFORE I put shock in it. The reading showed Cl level not even .5 and my ph level between 7.5 and 8.2 Then I shocked, and scrubbed pool..waited 2 days, and didnt add anything else, just tested it again, and it reads cl not even .5 and ph 7.8
    I am thinking of putting the clorox in now. How much would you suggest? I also have some (Spa) Chlorine Granules made by Leisure Life. I have 5 lbs of that. It was given to me by my father. I still want to do the BBB way, but since I already have this, I might as well use it up...so how much of this, and can I use it with the clorox, or should I use just one? I was thinking the school said not to mix them (chemicals) but then I could be getting them confused. I have such a very bad memory Im going to have to go back and read pool school again. Any help is so appreciated. I have ADD and so I can read and read, but still second guess myself, yada yada yada. It's very frustrating. lol but I have 2 kidos and there itching to get in pool so onward we go. By the way..The water doesnt look bad at all. Although there is those pesky waterboatman and backswimmers present. I have been fishing them out and killing them but algea is obvously still there. Thanks again and let me know what you all think (or how much you think of the chlorine/bleach I should put in.)
    Michelle

    18ft Above ground pool by intex.
    Matt

    10,000g "Antigua" (kidney shape) fiberglass IG pool, 1 hp Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 1200 Cart filter, 130K BTU heater, Savi Melody lights.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    You need to get a full set of water test results. Everything is just wild guessing without known your test results. Most pool stores will test your water for free.

    Also, you should never wait two days between chlorine additions. In almost all pools chlorine needs to be added daily under normal conditions, and more frequently than that when fighting algae. If you don't continue to add chlorine the algae just grows back and any previous effort is wasted.

    Get some water test results from a pool store and post them. Once you do that we can help you much more effectively.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: FIRST TIME POOL OWNER NEEDS HELP BAD

    Quote Originally Posted by flirte38
    I have such a very bad memory Im going to have to go back and read pool school again. Any help is so appreciated. I have ADD and so I can read and read, but still second guess myself, yada yada yada. It's very frustrating. lol
    EVERYONE has to read the Pool School over and over again, it's not just you!

    Take notes as you read it the second and third time in a little book devoted to the pool. Keep it with the test kit, inside by the computer somewhere.

    In this book write down the exact contents of the chemicals you have on hand and the amounts. It may be that what you have is usable, or maybe it has stuff in it you really, really don't want in this pool. Write it down so you don't have to remember it -- long complicated names you couldn't recall if you wanted -- but have it in your book to refer to as you read and as you post here.

    Eventually you will have a good test kit, with a record of the last several test posted on the cover and a cheat sheet of what you need to do based on certain measurements. FWIW, I know when I test FC = 3 I need to add 2 jugs of this bleach, or 3 cups of that liquid chlorine, or 3 scoops of that dry chlorine, depending on what I have on hand or what was on sale recently. That stuff is based on the Pool Calculator for my size and type of pool. When the pH gets to 7.8 I add so many cups of Muriatic acid based on what the last TA number was when I tested that last week or so.

    Your stuff will be different of course, but eventually the chemical part of this will be reduced to a few post-it notes on your test kit too.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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