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Thread: First Pool

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    First Pool

    Hi there,

    Never had a pool before and have just purchased a home with one. Have spent the last week or so reading as much as I can to get my head around what needs to be done. We are in Winter here (South Africa), pool temp sitting at about 58F so no swimming until November probably. Ordered a solid cover to stop the children from getting wet, which will also let me forget about it until we want to start using it.

    I thought I'd get a water test on it though, just to see what is there. The results I got from the pool shop are:
    TDS - 1700
    FC - 0
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 90
    CH - 1280
    CYA - 0

    Now I'm sitting with the issue of knowing that my CH is off the charts... I had them test my supply water and its CH is 120. The guy I bought the place from said that all I need to do is use a cup of HTH a day (which after looking at the bottle discovered is calcium hypo) and occasionally some acid when the pH gets high. He's had the pool for 20 years, so the CH build up makes sense. I'm not sure I know what scaling would look like but I don't see major signs of it. My concern is that I'm basically sitting with super saturated water and a spike in pH would be scale city...

    I'm thinking that I should dump water sooner rather than later, only thing is the water table is evidently quite high in the area so I'm only going to be able to drop down by about 3.5 feet before having to refill otherwise I might end up with a boat... (so much to learn.)
    That will hopefully drop me down to about 600 and then after I repeat the process will hopefully be in the 300s.

    Once I get to that point, what do you guys suggest I do before closing up? The water is as cold as it's going to get (58F) and I will be covering it with a pvc cover that shuts out all light. At this stage my only source of testing is the pool shop or test strips, and from what I have read, the test strips are pretty useless... Thinking about ordering a TF Test Kit but the shipping is $40 and I cannot find anything locally, still pondering that...

    Anyways, do I try and get a perfect balance before I leave it or just add a decent amount of chlorine and leave it until November? (I have found a source for 12% Sodium Hypo.) I guess that's what I really want to know.

    Also, there seems to be a bit of black grow in some areas of the grouting, not looking super bad but it looks like it could be an algae of sorts. Other than that the pool is perfectly clear and even a bit sparkly.

    Your advice would be most appreciated.
    David
    17000 gallons, sand filter, IG, plaster/chip tile

  2. Back To Top    #2
    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool

    given it's winter time, if water is plentiful, you may want to drain 6inches the fill, drain 6 inches then fill...and repeat until you've replaced over 50% of your water...since you have time you can take this approach and you wont have to worry about the water table issue. You could also add some CYA/bleach...circulate really well and cover her up...then fine tune in the spring.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    orthofish's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool

    Welcome to TFP David. You are a long way from Tn.
    The experts will be along shortly to give you advice.

    Oops. Didn't see the post from dmanb2b.
    Lynn

    16x38 FG, 20,400G, 1HP/2sp Tristar pump, Hayward 425sq ft cart. filter, Pro Logic4, SWCG, 3 returns, 2 main drains, 1 skimmer, 4 Pentair deck jets, Hayward Phantom pressure cleaner/booster pump, TF-100 of course :-)orthofish-s-pool-build-finally-t13179.html

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    Re: First Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanb2b
    given it's winter time, if water is plentiful, you may want to drain 6inches the fill, drain 6 inches then fill...and repeat until you've replaced over 50% of your water...since you have time you can take this approach and you wont have to worry about the water table issue. You could also add some CYA/bleach...circulate really well and cover her up...then fine tune in the spring.
    Well, we were close to water restrictions a short while back but have recently had good rain so we should be good for a bit. I do feel bad about having to dump so much water but the more I'm able to dump on the first go the less I'll dump in the long run. Also thinking that since I am able to refill now I should probably get it done and not sit with potentially not being able to do it later...

    From what I was told the water table is around 2 meters below ground which is why the guy I chatted to suggested draining until there is about 10 cm water coverage in the shallow end, so there is still some weight over the entire pool, and refill at that point...

    Do you think that 6 inches is a better option?
    17000 gallons, sand filter, IG, plaster/chip tile

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool

    given you are in no rush, I would err on the safe side...maybe 1 meter at a time, if your confident the water table is at 2m.

    Hopefully some of our pool constr experts will chime in soon...my point, no need to dump all that water at once.

    oh yeah...welcome to TFP
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: First Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanb2b
    given you are in no rush, I would err on the safe side...maybe 1 meter at a time, if your confident the water table is at 2m.

    Hopefully some of our pool constr experts will chime in soon...my point, no need to dump all that water at once.

    oh yeah...welcome to TFP
    Indeed, I am in no rush. I guess I just need to keep an eye on the pH to prevent scaling. I certainly will not be draining the pool, which was my first thought, since I discovered the water table issue.

    It's midnight so I'm off to bed .
    Thanks for all the replys so far.
    David
    17000 gallons, sand filter, IG, plaster/chip tile

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    Re: First Pool

    David, welcome to TFP!!

    'Slow and steady wins the race'

    Doing the drain and refill in smaller doses allows you to be confident that the pool won't float and keep track of the chemistry better. I'd suggest keeping a log of water drained and refilled vs. the chemistry changes - it'll help come November when the pool is up and swim able again 8)

    Please post during our winter months just to let us know that you're enjoying the pool while ours are covered in snow
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool

    I wouldn't add CYA until you have completed the partial drains and refills. If the cover is a solid one that doesn't let light thru, you maybe able to get by waiting until November to add the CYA.

    I would try to keep a min of 10 FC in the pool until you are done, this will help with the Black spots which are probably algae. Brushing the black areas while the chlorine is high is a good idea. You should add the 12% after the sun is off the pool, and brush those areas with a stainless bristle brush. Be sure your PH stays in the 7.4 range. The FC will be consumed rapidly by sunlight with no CYA, but no point in adding it since you'll be replacing so much water, and since no one is swimming.

    Before you close up, make sure the PH/TA are in range, and shock the pool. It should be good come November.

    Spring for the $40 shipping on the test kit. You won't regret it.

    Welcome to TFP. WOW. South Africa!
    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 Pool

    Thanks for all the friendly welcomes

    With regards to partial drains, is 1m an ok place to start or should it be more like half a meter? Shallow end is something like 1.2m and deep end is 1.9m - 2m.

    If I do spring the $ for the test kit, it was suggested that I get extra CYA and Chlorine reagents, given that the shipping is so expensive. How much extra of each do you guys suggest? Also wondering if I should add the borates test strips if I go that route. It might also make sense to hold off on the order a bit as I will only really need them in a few months. Can probably head over to the pool shop to test after each refill.

    --David
    17000 gallons, sand filter, IG, plaster/chip tile

  10. Back To Top    #10
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool

    I'd go with half a meter.

    For the extra refills:
    1 4 oz of CYA reagent.
    1 jar of 0870 dpd powder
    1 bottle of r-0003
    1 bottle of r 0871

    This should last you a good while.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: First Pool

    Ok, so I've done the first drain and almost complete with the refill. There is a fair bit of black algae in the pool. I gave some of it a good brush when the water was down and I was surprised that a fair bit of it came off quite easily. There is still a quite a bit left... I'm wondering if I should use a garden sprayer on it on the next drain. I read a few post suggesting some 12% mixed with water, sound like an idea? Suggestions on concentration to spay?

    I now see what scaling looks like, much easier to see without water, the pH seems to have risen a bit, thinking in the 7.8 to 8 range so I guess I need to add some acid. Any issues adding acid and Sodium Hydroxide at the same time?
    Thanks,
    David
    17000 gallons, sand filter, IG, plaster/chip tile

  12. Back To Top    #12
    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool

    it forms a biofilm to protect itself which comes off easily. but you can brush that stuff forever and it will always come back. your best option is getting a chlorine puck/tab (one of those things you put in an inline or floating feeder) and rubbing the spot(s).
    no real suggestions for acid and chlorine, just don't mix the two. common sense I know, but just pay attention. you can add one right after the other.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool

    "It" being the Black Algae, brushing with a stainless steel brush several times a day while the pool's at shock level should do the trick.

    I'd wait 30 minutes between acid and bleach.

    Keep in mind that high FC levels - above 10, will make the PH read false-high. Do not try to adjust PH when the FC is higher than 10.
    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 Pool

    Thanks for the great advice. I tested the pH a few times during the refill, with 0 chlorine, and it seemed to be increasing slowly with time. I have added the acid and chlorine, gonna leave it overnight and take a test sample to the shop tomorrow. Hoping the Calcium has come down nicely.
    17000 gallons, sand filter, IG, plaster/chip tile

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    Re: First Pool

    Went to the pool store and had the water tested after the drain:
    TDS - 1000, down from 1700
    FC - 1
    CC - 0.5
    pH - 7.8
    TA - 40
    CH - 515, down from 1280
    CYA - 0

    I'm pretty sure that the first CH of 1280 was an over read, they tested 3 times on this visit and all I can say is that I am happy it has improved so much.

    The solid cover went on today so I will no longer have to worry about sunlight getting at the chlorine. It's just a little more painful to get it in the pool now. I also need to adjust the pH and TA. Pool Calculator suggest almost 4kg of Baking Soda. I'm thinking of adjusting the pH first, then when it is closer to 7.2/7.4 add 1kg of Baking Soda. Let that settle and see where I'm at, adjust pH again if required and add another 1kg ect... Sound like the right approach?

    While that is going on I'll try and keep the Chlorine levels up for the algae. Wondering if the lack off sunlight will also help kill the black algae?
    17000 gallons, sand filter, IG, plaster/chip tile

  16. Back To Top    #16
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool

    You have the right idea, get the PH down to 7.2 and then increase the TA to about 60. No need to go higher than that right now.

    Do you have a way to circulate the water with the cover on?
    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 Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    You have the right idea, get the PH down to 7.2 and then increase the TA to about 60. No need to go higher than that right now.

    Do you have a way to circulate the water with the cover on?
    Indeed, I have a hugbug pool cleaner that runs just fine under the cover.
    17000 gallons, sand filter, IG, plaster/chip tile

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