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Thread: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

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    First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Pool guy normally comes on Thursday... sent him a text today telling him not to come this week while the official "you're fired" letter goes out in the mail with his final check.

    Ok, K-2006 arrives via Amazon tomorrow. What do I need to have on hand to be ready to test and treat? My biggest fear is since pool guy normally comes Thursday (and tosses 3 chlorine tabs in the floater), if I'm not treating by Thu/Fri it's going to get way out of balance and turn green. I was at HomeDepot last night and saw a huge shelf of pool chlorine bottles, but I couldn't tell how old they were (probably old).

    What can I buy tonight and be ready for tomorrow?
    My gear: ~23k gallon in ground plaster pool, built in 1974 and resurfaced probably 5-7 years ago. Hayward Pro-Grid 48 sq ft DE filter, Single speed Pentair 1.5HP pump. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Doheny Dolphin Discovery robot pool cleaner. Climate: Houston (aka, 14 months of summer), full sun. City water (pool filler) is probably high in chlorine.

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Simply go to HEB and grab a few bottles of their regular Bravo bleach for $2.94 a gallon. If you have tabs in the chlorinator, take them out. My pool is a little over half the size of yours and I add 1/2 gallon per day. So you could add about 3/4 - 1 gallon today or tomorrow just to keep the water somewhat sanitized. Once you get the kit, post a full set of results and we'll go from there. Most important for you, having just cut-the-cord with a pool service, will be CYA. Since those services rely on tabs and bags of shock so much, your CYA may be very high. We'll see. If it looks to be over 100, do the diluted test as noted on the TFP Pool School - CYA page. That will drive everything you do next.

    Other than bleach, you'll probably need some muriatic acid (20 Baume/31.45% strength). Those two things our pools always need. I wouldn't waste money on anything else until you have your results.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Ok, first test results. I'm pretty sure they're awful:

    Free Chlorine: 22+ PPM (used 110 drops of R0871 at 0.2ppm/drop)
    Combined Chlorine: N/A - Added 3 drops of R003 to previous step, never turned pink)
    pH: 7.4 (yaaaay!)
    TA: 350+ ppm (turned gold at 25 drops, stayed gold even at 35 drops of R0009)
    CH: 475 ppm (19 drops R0012 at high CH anticipation test)
    CYA: Off the chart. Repeated with diluted test. Still off the chart.
    My gear: ~23k gallon in ground plaster pool, built in 1974 and resurfaced probably 5-7 years ago. Hayward Pro-Grid 48 sq ft DE filter, Single speed Pentair 1.5HP pump. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Doheny Dolphin Discovery robot pool cleaner. Climate: Houston (aka, 14 months of summer), full sun. City water (pool filler) is probably high in chlorine.

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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by yubbie2 View Post
    Ok, first test results. I'm pretty sure they're awful:

    Free Chlorine: 22+ PPM (used 110 drops of R0871 at 0.2ppm/drop)
    Combined Chlorine: N/A - Added 3 drops of R003 to previous step, never turned pink)
    pH: 7.4 (yaaaay!)
    TA: 350+ ppm (turned gold at 25 drops, stayed gold even at 35 drops of R0009)
    CH: 475 ppm (19 drops R0012 at high CH anticipation test)
    CYA: Off the chart. Repeated with diluted test. Still off the chart.
    That superhigh FC may not be so high since your CYA is well into triple digits.
    The TA test often goes blue>yellow instead of green>pink at really high FC levels. It's probably 250 if that's when the color shifted and stayed.

    Having been there with astronomical CYA myself, I see a substantial water replacement in your immediate future. Don't bother trying to balance anything else. Just get that CYA level down. It makes it so much easier to maintain.
    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: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Darn. We've got a giant pool (30k gallons) with a gaggle of kids that want to swim every waking moment. Our pool filler pipe is SLOW.

    Are there *any* other options to draining a few feet out and literally waiting a week to fill it back up? What percent are we talking about draining?
    My gear: ~23k gallon in ground plaster pool, built in 1974 and resurfaced probably 5-7 years ago. Hayward Pro-Grid 48 sq ft DE filter, Single speed Pentair 1.5HP pump. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Doheny Dolphin Discovery robot pool cleaner. Climate: Houston (aka, 14 months of summer), full sun. City water (pool filler) is probably high in chlorine.

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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by yubbie2 View Post
    Darn. We've got a giant pool (30k gallons) with a gaggle of kids that want to swim every waking moment. Our pool filler pipe is SLOW.

    Are there *any* other options to draining a few feet out and literally waiting a week to fill it back up? What percent are we talking about draining?
    Start calling and see if Reverse Osmosis has made its way to Texas yet. The alternative is to figure out your CYA and maintain FC for that. Your pH test will always be suspect, though. I've been there and I couldn't drain due to draconian water restrictions. Now that it's down, life is much easier.

    Nothing says you can't do it a few inches at a time. There's more waste, but the pool will be usable the whole time. You might even try the tarp method but only do as much as you can refill in a day each time. Use the search box for tarp method.
    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: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Ok, so if I drain a few inches at a time, refill overnight, and try and divert some gutters into the pool, I can do mass replacement over the next few weeks.

    But what do I do chemical-wise in the meantime? Won't it turn green if I don't touch the chemistry for that long?
    My gear: ~23k gallon in ground plaster pool, built in 1974 and resurfaced probably 5-7 years ago. Hayward Pro-Grid 48 sq ft DE filter, Single speed Pentair 1.5HP pump. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Doheny Dolphin Discovery robot pool cleaner. Climate: Houston (aka, 14 months of summer), full sun. City water (pool filler) is probably high in chlorine.

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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by yubbie2 View Post
    Ok, so if I drain a few inches at a time, refill overnight, and try and divert some gutters into the pool, I can do mass replacement over the next few weeks.

    But what do I do chemical-wise in the meantime? Won't it turn green if I don't touch the chemistry for that long?
    Keep up on the pH and FC so the kids can still use it.
    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: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Ok, so let me get this straight:

    Drain some, refill from tap (which is unfortunately chlorinated, but nothing I can do about that)
    Watch pH, use the Pool Calculator to keep it in check by adding Muriatic Acid (to lower pH) or Borax (to raise pH)
    Watch FC (hoping it drops) by draining/refilling, leaving the pool in direct sunlight, and...... ?

    But really I'm looking for FC to be back in the teens, and CYA to be measurable, right? Tweaks to keep pH in a good range. If I'm draining/refilling a few inches at a time, how often do I need to be testing? I'm so freaked out about waking up to a green pool if I'm not doing anything. Or do I have so much chlorine in there now that nothing could grow even if I wanted it to?
    My gear: ~23k gallon in ground plaster pool, built in 1974 and resurfaced probably 5-7 years ago. Hayward Pro-Grid 48 sq ft DE filter, Single speed Pentair 1.5HP pump. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Doheny Dolphin Discovery robot pool cleaner. Climate: Houston (aka, 14 months of summer), full sun. City water (pool filler) is probably high in chlorine.

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Your #1 issue right now is the CYA. The sooner you get the CYA back down to something you can measure under lets say ... 70-ish, the better. As you try to lower CYA by removing water, any chemicals will go right down the drain, and tiny water exchanges are less efficient than a larger one, but do what you can. If you did a 50-60% change, I'd say test CYA right after you fill back up. But if you only lower by a couple inches and refill, you might as well save the reagent because there won't be much difference.

    But you have the concept right. Don't worry too much about your FC being elevated. That won't hurt anything, and because your CYA is so high, you water needs it anyways.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Can't drain pool?

    Moderator comment: Threads merged together

    Hey everyone

    On a different thread, I've been instructed to drain part of my pool to fix some major chemical imbalance issues. I'm new to taking care of my own pool (pool guy's pink slip arrives Monday), and the previous owners did lots of funky stuff during various remodels in and out of the house.

    I've drained a few inches from the pool before by running the pump/filter to waste, but only during/after a huge storm when it was about to overflow. What I'm learning is that the plumbing has always been set to pull water from the filter basket.


    So this morning I switched the valve to the *other* input, assuming it was the drain at the bottom of the pool, turned on the pump, and...nothing. Dry. I let the pump run for 15-20 seconds and then got freaked out that I'd burn it out running it dry.


    So, what do I do? How do I drain my pool? If the bottom drain hasn't been used in 4+ years presumably, will it take longer than 20 seconds of running to prime it? Do I need to charge the line somehow? Will the pump pull enough air pressure to suck water into the line?


    My gear: ~23k gallon in ground plaster pool, built in 1974 and resurfaced probably 5-7 years ago. Hayward Pro-Grid 48 sq ft DE filter, Single speed Pentair 1.5HP pump. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Doheny Dolphin Discovery robot pool cleaner. Climate: Houston (aka, 14 months of summer), full sun. City water (pool filler) is probably high in chlorine.

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    So you do indeed have a main drain correct? You can see it in the deep end? If so, then there's a couple things to keep in mind:
    1. The main drain is sometimes plumbed up into the poolside skimmer. Is there a diverter (saucer-shaped) item in the poolside skimmer covering one of two holes? If so, you may need to open or adjust it to allow flow from the main drain.
    2. If no diverter, then perhaps the main drain line is plumbed-up to the equipment pad. There should be a 3-way valve "before" the pump that determines how much water can flow from the poolside skimmer, main drain, or I'm some cases spa. You'll need to experiment with those to see what effects you get.
    3. Perhaps the main drain was shut-off and sealed. If that's the case, you may want to consider renting or purchasing a sump pump at your local hardware store to pump-out the water require to lower your CYA.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Yes, definitely have a main drain at the deepest point of the deep end.

    1. No, skimmer box has one hole only, no valves/switches. Water definitely gets sucked into there, because as soon as the pool level dropped below it, the pump was sucking air and the waste drain dried up.
    2. There is a valve before the pump, with 2 different inputs. I tried switching to the 'other' input, and the pump sucked air. See this image: https://imgur.com/gallery/Es9m2
    3. Already got one, and have been running it for a few hours. Pool is about 18" down. A good temporary solution, but I would still like to know if my main drain is toast or not I guess I'll have to wait until we drain it completely for resurfacing in a few years.
    My gear: ~23k gallon in ground plaster pool, built in 1974 and resurfaced probably 5-7 years ago. Hayward Pro-Grid 48 sq ft DE filter, Single speed Pentair 1.5HP pump. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Doheny Dolphin Discovery robot pool cleaner. Climate: Houston (aka, 14 months of summer), full sun. City water (pool filler) is probably high in chlorine.

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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Sigh.

    Ok, I've pumped about 7000-8000 gallons out of the pool using a sump pump. Took a few hours, but the water level is a little over 2 feet down now. We're expecting rain tonight/tomorrow, and I have a gutter redirected into the pool. So that's the good news.

    The bad news is now I'm noticing all this discoloration on the pool wall. It's making me wonder if the plaster is in worse condition than I expected. Can you tell me what those weird streaks are? Happy to get a close up shot if needed. I'm also noticing lots of hairline cracks between the blue tiles.

    IMG_2379.jpg

    IMG_2384.jpg
    My gear: ~23k gallon in ground plaster pool, built in 1974 and resurfaced probably 5-7 years ago. Hayward Pro-Grid 48 sq ft DE filter, Single speed Pentair 1.5HP pump. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Doheny Dolphin Discovery robot pool cleaner. Climate: Houston (aka, 14 months of summer), full sun. City water (pool filler) is probably high in chlorine.

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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    I have a gutter redirected into the pool. So that's the good news.
    That IS very good. That should help with CH as well. The discoloration and such on the plaster would appear to be effects in plaster over the years - either scale or etching. I can't tell at the moment. In either case, as long as the shell is not compromised (like falling apart) at least you can refill and move-on with good chemistry. We're finally getting some long awaited rain, so perhaps you'll get it as well. As for the main drain, it's not the biggest thing if it's not operational. Curious .. sure. But a pool can function just fine with surface skimming and the robot.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Holy moley, I think it worked.

    Drained ~28" out, filled it back up overnight and most of today. It's green and super cloudy, but I think my test results are way better:

    FC: 11.5 ppm
    CC: Sample did not turn pink again
    pH: 7.4
    TA: 110 ppm
    CH: 360 ppm
    CYA: ~180-200, after diluted test (filled vial 50% with pool water, 50% with R0013, dumped out half, filled 50% again with tap water, test read 90-100 with diluted test)

    I have the pump running constantly as of about an hour ago, as it's been off during the drain/fill process. Supposed to get some rain tonight, so that should help top off the water level and bring CYA a little lower)

    So what do I do now?
    My gear: ~23k gallon in ground plaster pool, built in 1974 and resurfaced probably 5-7 years ago. Hayward Pro-Grid 48 sq ft DE filter, Single speed Pentair 1.5HP pump. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Doheny Dolphin Discovery robot pool cleaner. Climate: Houston (aka, 14 months of summer), full sun. City water (pool filler) is probably high in chlorine.

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Well, some numbers do in-fact look better. But I hate to be the bearer of bad news. My concern is still the CYA. So even diluted, the block dot disappeared quickly by about 100? Holy smokes that CYA was high. Unfortunately, it still is. To manage your water properly, the CYA really needs to be down around 60 or so for us. 60 is a good summer time CYA level if you get a lot of TX sun, and not the worse for achieving the required (matching) SLAM FC level to clear your algae. But you're saying your CYA is still close to 200? My goodness it must've been really high before. If I were you, I'd honestly crank-up the sump pump and get more pool water out right away in hopes of getting some of this weather blowing across the state this evening. Maybe Mother Nature will help you out with some free (clean) H20. But you need to change-out more than just a foot or so I'm afraid.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    I just want to ask - are you sure about your pool's volume? From the two pics you posted it doesn't look like it is 30k gallons. Just want to make sure.
    SLAM * Chlorine/CYA Chart * Pool Math * Pool School
    17.5k gal IG Fiberglass, Triton II TR60 Sand Filter, Jacuzzi Magum Force Pump 1.5 hp, 3/4 hp booster, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit with Speed Stir

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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Well, some numbers do in-fact look better. But I hate to be the bearer of bad news. My concern is still the CYA. So even diluted, the block dot disappeared quickly by about 100? Holy smokes that CYA was high. Unfortunately, it still is. To manage your water properly, the CYA really needs to be down around 60 or so for us. 60 is a good summer time CYA level if you get a lot of TX sun, and not the worse for achieving the required (matching) SLAM FC level to clear your algae. But you're saying your CYA is still close to 200? My goodness it must've been really high before. If I were you, I'd honestly crank-up the sump pump and get more pool water out right away in hopes of getting some of this weather blowing across the state this evening. Maybe Mother Nature will help you out with some free (clean) H20. But you need to change-out more than just a foot or so I'm afraid.
    Hey, I'm just happy I'm on the scale again, diluted or not Yeah, I think those CYA levels are what you get if your pool guy tosses 3 chlorine tabs in the floater every Thursday for 4 years. Boooooooo.

    Ok, I'm still a few inches from the top. I'll stop filling now, wait for the rain, and then dump out a bit more after it circulates overnight. It filled way faster than I was expecting, so I'm ok redoing the process again to bring the level down further. Hopefully a few days of sun will help too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Razorhog View Post
    I just want to ask - are you sure about your pool's volume? From the two pics you posted it doesn't look like it is 30k gallons. Just want to make sure.
    You know, I started thinking the same thing. Google maps gives me a surface area of 400 sq ft, but I can't get to 30,000 gallons using the depths I thought I had and some math. I think I'm probably in the mid 20k range.
    My gear: ~23k gallon in ground plaster pool, built in 1974 and resurfaced probably 5-7 years ago. Hayward Pro-Grid 48 sq ft DE filter, Single speed Pentair 1.5HP pump. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Doheny Dolphin Discovery robot pool cleaner. Climate: Houston (aka, 14 months of summer), full sun. City water (pool filler) is probably high in chlorine.

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    Re: First test kit arrives tomorrow - what chemicals do I need to have on hand?

    What was described by the OP is a 3:1 dilution of pool water for the CYA test, which means his CYA is still in the mid to high 300s not 180-200... wow.. just wow if true...
    16,800 Gal IG; Gunite Quartz Plaster; Hayward E-Command 4 Controller; Hayward SwimClear 600 SQFT Cartridge Filter; Hayward TriStar 2-Speed (SP3210X152); Hayward SharkVacXL; Taylor K-2006 ; Fill Water (Water Softened) - TA: 390, pH: 7.2

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