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Thread: New member with a few questions.

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    New member with a few questions.

    Fellas, hows it going. New member here and a recent new pool owner. Had one forever growing up but my last one was when I was 16 and now I'm 30.

    Haven't had too many issues except for one slightly perplexing deal. My pool builder has been great overall but one concern with him is he doesn't teach, explain or go over much of the installation stuff with me. I believe it's to keep me from having to worry about anything, taking care of it all but I'm a need-to-know person. I want to know everything, how it works, what it does and all the pertinent stuff.

    My pool: 22x 48, 32,000 gallon gunite / quartz plaster pool with raised 8' spa. DE filter. Large 5' natural rock waterfall. Aquarite salt system, and all hayward equipment including Hayward Phantom sea monster (as my 5 year old calls it).

    My issue: My nice water tester (Lamotte ColorQ) is on the way but for now, all I have is some mediocre Aquachek Yellow test strips. Since close to day one with the pool, I haven't been able to register much, if any, free chlorine in the pool. About a week after pool completion, we had bad storms in N. Texas and at one point 12" in 5 hours. Pool overflowed. Once I got it back down, I figured I'd add some bleach as to get the chlorine levels back to par quickly. Test strip showed perfect (3ppm) after 12 hours, then after a couple days, the strip was back down to showing minimal chlorine. A week ago, I turned the salt system up to 100% to see if it'd catch up and it's still pretty much 0.

    Today, after looking at a lot of things, I noticed the timer had been set (by the pool builder I'd imagine) and it's only running 12 hours of the day. Our temps are up to the 90's (when it's not raining, which it has a lot as well; pools overflowed 3 more times). So, after seeing that, I'm figuring that the system has just not been running enough to allow the proper chlorine in. Today, I set it to turn off from 12am to 3pm and run from there on, for 21 hours. I figured that ought to help. If the strips show a steady incline in it, then I'll start turning the salt system down some.

    The pool has been 100% crystal clear from day one. I mean, it's wicked clear and I figured if it had 0 chlorine in it, it would've gotten hazy by now but it's super clear. Salt has been steady 3100 to 3200 since day one. I had to add 2 bags after my week vacation last week but it's never gotten below 2900. PH has shown to steadily be at the highest point on the strip as well but I'm trying to take care of the chlorine and then worry about the PH but I have added some stuff to drop it a couple times. I vacuum it regularly and keep it clean. The phantom runs 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon and it helps a lot, plus it's fun to squirt my little boy with the sprayer end.

    Couple questions :

    1) does the time frame the pool was running seem to be a good possibility for the lack in chlorine and/or are the test strips just not trustworthy?

    2) if I was to turn the pool off for 3 or 4 hours a day, is the best time in the middle of the day or at night? I figured I'd keep it running at night to help circulate the water to help keep it cool.

    3) Is there anything I'm missing, like skimmer socks or anything else I should consider?

    Anyways, thanks for the help and I'll be back when/if I have more questions.

    Scott
    My Pool - 18x24 fully setup Cabana, 22x48 gunite/quartz plaster (3-5-3 depth) & 8' spa w/ spill and 5' natural rock waterfall; Hayward DE filter/pumps/heater; Hayward Pro Logic controller; Phantom cleaner. Finished 06/01/07.

    RedishConstruction.com

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New member with a few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by sredish
    1) does the time frame the pool was running seem to be a good possibility for the lack in chlorine and/or are the test strips just not trustworthy?
    If everything is properly sized then a 12 hour pump run time is a reasonable place to start. The test strips are inconsistant, they will read somewhere around the right level but can be high or low, often reading something different each time. If they are consistantly showing zero chlorine then there is probably either zero or very low chlorine.

    Quote Originally Posted by sredish
    2) if I was to turn the pool off for 3 or 4 hours a day, is the best time in the middle of the day or at night? I figured I'd keep it running at night to help circulate the water to help keep it cool.
    It can be nice to have the SWG running when there is sunlight, to keep the chlorine level from varying as much. At the same time electric rates are often higher during the day, so you might want to run it at night to save money. Either way it is usually not a large difference. Also, many people like to have the pump running when they are swiming

    Quote Originally Posted by sredish
    3) Is there anything I'm missing, like skimmer socks or anything else I should consider?
    You aren't missing anything critical. Skimmer socks and scum balls are both nice, but hardly critical.

    The one thing that comes to mind is that small amounts of algae can cause low chlorine levels with a SWG. But if your water is clear this seems very unlikely.
    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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    tagprod's Avatar
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    A few things to consider if your SWG does not appear to be generating enough chlorine:

    1) Do you have enough CYA (conditioner) in the pool? 30-50 is recommended in most pools, but the manufacturer of your chlorinator (I have the same aqualogic that you do) recommends 60-80 with 80 being optimum. Mine does not work as well without the higher CYA levels.

    2) There is a control from your remote that lists what percentage of the time the chlorinator is set to generate chlorine. I have a 20,000 gallon pool and my pump runs about 9 hours a day with the chlorinator set at 35 to 40% and I'm able to keep the chlorine around 4ppm. What's yours set to?

    3) Just because the pool looks really clear doesn't mean you have no algae issues. Maybe all that chlorine you are generating is fighting algae and keeping it at bay. My pool always looks sparkling and I brush often. I was having some issues with the chlorinator due to the CYA levels and it went on long enough that I did start getting some mustard algae. I caught it very early and shocked it and eliminated it. The pool was having a hard time generating chlorine for about two weeks. I had the chlorinator jacked up to 85% for a few days just to see what it would do. It got the chlorine reading up to 3PPM and the pool looked great, but it was fighting algae at the same time.


    Also, I wouldn't wait to work on the PH. A little Muriatic acid will bring it down. I think Chlorine works a little better at the 7.4 - 7.2 range.

    I'm in Houston, so I can relate to the your weather issues. Today's been a really nice pool day but I've had to catch up on yard work
    Brian
    20K IG Gunite w/ raised 7ft spillover spa. 1.5 HP Hayward Northstar pump 425 sq ft Hayward cartridge filter, Colorlogic lights AquaRite SWG AquaLogic PS-8 control
    1hp pump for sheer descent

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    First off, thanks for the replies and sorry for the long initial post.

    I'll start off by saying, I just tested with a cheapo OTO tester my pool guy gave me and it also shows what the strips have been saying. The strips don't seem to have the same color shade as whats on the bottle.

    The PH is too high to get a good reading, like 8.4+;
    The Chlorine is too low to get a decent reading, like next to none;
    The Stabilizer looks to be in the 100 to 125 range and
    The TA is hard to read, looks high, like higher than 200 to 220.

    So, it appears the chemicals are all over the place. Again, the pool is 6 or 7 weeks old. All I've ever put in it is some chlorine at one point when I was checking to make sure it had enough. A few weeks ago, I added 1.5 gallons and brought it to 3ppm for a short time, soon after I added just a little muriatic acid and it did bring the PH down to the "good" level but it didn't last long either. When I get my new tester, I'll have some definite figures. Tonight, I turned on the "superchlorinate" feature since I'm out of bleach but depending on where it's at tomorrow, I may get some bleach and chlorinate the chit out of it for a few days.

    Really tho, I'm not sure which order I should go into attacking the chemicals, or if I should just let some of it go seeing as the pool is so clear. Should I bring the PH down and worry about the chlorine or what? I'm not familiar at all with this and my pool builder keeps telling me not to worry about any of it and to let the SWG just do it's job...

    Anyways, as you can all see, I'm confused.
    My Pool - 18x24 fully setup Cabana, 22x48 gunite/quartz plaster (3-5-3 depth) & 8' spa w/ spill and 5' natural rock waterfall; Hayward DE filter/pumps/heater; Hayward Pro Logic controller; Phantom cleaner. Finished 06/01/07.

    RedishConstruction.com

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You do need to keep the PH under control. 7.4 to 7.6 is ideal, and try to keep it under 8.0 at all times. The PH is going to constantly go up for the next several months because of the plaster curing. The SWG will also tend to push the PH up.

    If your chlorine level stays at zero you will get algae, even if you don't have any right now. The SWG might not be working so well because of the high PH. Get the PH down and see if that helps.

    For the rest, it is impossible to tell without a real set of numbers. The best investment you can make in your pool is a good test kit. TF Test Kit
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    You do need to keep the PH under control. 7.4 to 7.6 is ideal, and try to keep it under 8.0 at all times. The PH is going to constantly go up for the next several months because of the plaster curing. The SWG will also tend to push the PH up.

    If your chlorine level stays at zero you will get algae, even if you don't have any right now. The SWG might not be working so well because of the high PH. Get the PH down and see if that helps.

    For the rest, it is impossible to tell without a real set of numbers. The best investment you can make in your pool is a good test kit. TF Test Kit
    I have read that that the swg will push the ph some. i'll get some acid and get the ph under control tomorrow, leaving the swg on the superchlorinate setting. then after the ph settle some, I'll check the chlorine and get it adjusted with bleach quickly.

    i have that one tester on order but i'll probably get another drop tester for a backup and to use until this one comes in.
    My Pool - 18x24 fully setup Cabana, 22x48 gunite/quartz plaster (3-5-3 depth) & 8' spa w/ spill and 5' natural rock waterfall; Hayward DE filter/pumps/heater; Hayward Pro Logic controller; Phantom cleaner. Finished 06/01/07.

    RedishConstruction.com

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Added 2 gallons of Muriatic Acid this morning to bring down the PH. I used the calculator in Jason's sig. According to what it said 2 gallons would take it to 7.2, but with a constant PH climb, I figured at this point, it'd be alright.

    At lunch, I turned off the SWG and put in 2 gallons of chlorine bleach, which according to the calc, would take it from 0 to 4.1, so it's a good place to start.

    I'm going to hold it with the chlorine and keep the PH in check for a few days, then turn the swg back on and see how it does. I also noticed, after adding the acid, at lunch the CYA was way down. Yesterday, it's was close to max on the strip, like around 200/220 and now it's down to the 30/40 range. I'm not going to mess with it at all right now, just stating that for fyi purposes.

    We'll see what it looks like tonight and then again in the morning.
    My Pool - 18x24 fully setup Cabana, 22x48 gunite/quartz plaster (3-5-3 depth) & 8' spa w/ spill and 5' natural rock waterfall; Hayward DE filter/pumps/heater; Hayward Pro Logic controller; Phantom cleaner. Finished 06/01/07.

    RedishConstruction.com

  8. Back To Top    #8
    tagprod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sredish
    Added 2 gallons of Muriatic Acid this morning to bring down the PH. I used the calculator in Jason's sig. According to what it said 2 gallons would take it to 7.2, but with a constant PH climb, I figured at this point, it'd be alright.

    At lunch, I turned off the SWG and put in 2 gallons of chlorine bleach, which according to the calc, would take it from 0 to 4.1, so it's a good place to start.

    I'm going to hold it with the chlorine and keep the PH in check for a few days, then turn the swg back on and see how it does. I also noticed, after adding the acid, at lunch the CYA was way down. Yesterday, it's was close to max on the strip, like around 200/220 and now it's down to the 30/40 range. I'm not going to mess with it at all right now, just stating that for fyi purposes.

    We'll see what it looks like tonight and then again in the morning.
    I doubt the CYA is really jumping around like that. The results of the test seem a little suspect.
    Brian
    20K IG Gunite w/ raised 7ft spillover spa. 1.5 HP Hayward Northstar pump 425 sq ft Hayward cartridge filter, Colorlogic lights AquaRite SWG AquaLogic PS-8 control
    1hp pump for sheer descent

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